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Beginner’s Guide to Accomplishing Career Goals

Jun 25, 2018

Written by Kendra Alexander, National Recruiter.

A very smart, successful woman, who happens to be our CEO, once said to us “no one cares about your career more than you”.

This isn’t some get-rich-quick career goals guide. It’s my story and your wake-up call.

It made me pause for a moment. Blame it on my millennial mindset I suppose, but until that point I thought my ascent up the corporate ladder would depend on what management suggested for me. I don’t think I was doing cartwheels in left field but I was off base. What I have learned is that your career path, is going to depend on one person- you.  So, how does one take ownership of their own career? You can follow all the career goal guides you find, but what’s truly going to get you to your goals is a reality check. Wake up and smell the roses Say Yes.

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The choice is yours; say yes.

The beginning to carving your path is as simple as opening your eyes. Take time to look around and see what is right in front of you that offers a step in your ladder. One thing that I did right in the beginning was be someone who says “Yes”. Think about situations that often come up as a student or professional. A few questions I have been asked are

  • “Would you like to volunteer to work an event?” My answer? “Yes.”
  • “Would you be interested in joining our club?” I said “Sure would.”
  • “Can you make this internship work with your schedule?” I responded “Absolutely!”
  • “Will you commit to an additional training program?” I said “When can I start?”

Objects in motion, stay in motion. You get to decide your impact.

Was I slightly panicking on the inside while I was trying to figure out how I’d make it all happen? Also yes. Events and opportunities like these can offer a person a wealth of knowledge that doesn’t exist in a text book or manual. Words on a page can never replace experiences in real life. Say yes. See the value in the experience and take time to reflect when it’s over. A part of seeing an opportunity and taking advantage of it is taking the time to take a look at yourself before, during, and after to find value to add to your portfolio. Adding value to your portfolio could be simply making a good first impression, networking, practicing a new elevator pitch, getting over a fear of public speaking, passing out business cards, picking up a new skill, or a learning something new about a subject you weren’t familiar with. Say “yes” and take away something. Saying yes is your opportunity to make something happen.

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“When you think that you can’t work one minute longer, work two.”

After you open your eyes take a good, hard look at yourself. If you don’t know who you are no one else will either. If you can’t decide what you want to be decide who you want to be and how you want others to see you. Decide what direction you want your career path to go and who you need to be to get there.

  1. Have grit. When you think that you can’t work one minute longer, work two.
  2. Be passionate. If you believe in something strongly enough the people around you will have no choice but to believe as well. (Insert conspiracy theory here.)
  3. Be assertive. Take action when given the chance. You will be remembered by the things you did, not the things that you were going to do.
  4. Be honest. Be the person who can admit where their weakness is and ask for help. If you can take ownership in where you need to improve and turn that weakness into a strength you can be unstoppable.
  5. Most importantly in my opinion, Be heard. If you want something, say something. If you aren’t heard the first time say it a second time. Am I saying that you’ll get what you are asking for? No. However, if you are certain that your current career path isn’t right for you then it is up to you to speak up.

I am a firm believer that to be an asset you have to be in the right position, the right seat on the bus as we like to say here at HireLevel, and if you know that you aren’t there then it is up to you to say it.

Creating your career path isn’t going to be a straight and narrow and there isn’t an elevator to get you there. You have to take time to build every single step, and when you are done building, you have to climb that ladder to get where you want to be. As a person evolves, their career path can too and no one is going to care more than you so make things happen and own the path you’re on. It’s up to you to make sure you are living your best (work) life.

Starting your career can be intimidating and changing your path can be downright terrifying but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re ready to start cranking out your career goals or want to explore your options, please reach out to me at kalexander@hirelevel.com