PART 10: MY CAREER JOURNEY
I have a borderline obsession with watching TED Talks, I have a whole playlist on YouTube dedicated to my favorites. One of which talks about finding work you love at the intersection of your work responsibilities and what you are passionate about. How you probably aren't going to accept a position doing a job you love but if you take a good job with a good company, you can then mold it into work you love. Check it out below, it's worth your time!
Part 9: My Career Journey
Trust is complex. It's like a piggy bank, you make deposits and withdrawals but you have no idea the dollar amount each of them are worth because everyone values everything differently. You only know what value you assign to them.
When you start a new job you it can be overwhelming. You have to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the company and it's culture, learn how to do your actual job, get to know your co-workers and probably most importantly get to know your boss and his or her specific nuances.
If you were not in a great situation in your previous job you might even bring with you some biases, anxiety, or assumptions that you don't even realize you brought. I was so on edge when I first started at my current job that every time my boss would say he needed to talk to me I automatically thought I might be fired or at the minimum I was in hot water.
The only way that I know to get passed this is to cut yourself some slack and try hard not to jump to conclusions. Be patient because over time you will get to know your new boss and figure out how to best work with him and what to expect from him.
Part 8: My Career Journey
Life has been getting in the way of me writing blog posts. So I'm sorry for the delay!! Next in my series about my career journey is interview prep.
In my experience, if you are lucky enough to make it through the massive amount of resumes submitted for a job and get a chance to interview you should be as prepared as possible.
My advice is to google example interview questions and then practice answering them using the STAR method.
SITUATION Describe the situation you were in (from a previous job, volunteer work, or relevant event) be specific, no generalizations.
TASK What goal were you working toward?
ACTION Describe the actions you took (specific steps and your particular contribution). Focus on your actions rather than those of the team.
RESULT What were the outcomes of your actions?
Practicing this will bring past experiences to the front of your brain and give you a chance to find the best ones to use rather than trying to think back during your interview.
Other random pieces of advice, prepare so that you can walk in confident that there is not a question they will ask that you won't have an answer for. Do your very best not to come off as being desperate, walk in knowing that you have value to add and that you will be a great addition to anyone's team, its your decision on where you end up working.
That is all for now. I still have more posts before I'm finished with this little series so be sure to check back!
Part 7: My Career Journey
"Major life changes are never easy, because your instincts and the urgent matters of the day work against you. But when you learn to focus on your future self, you'll be surprised at what you can achieve." - Rebecca Webber, published May 6, 2014.
When I say "reinvent myself" I don't mean scrapping everything I've built, the network of contacts I've made and all the knowledge and skills I've acquired over the years. I mean change the way you think about yourself and the future of your career. Just like a car needs to be maintained, so do we.
Innovate has been a buzzword for a while now and it’s overused which means it’s lost some of its value. Many companies and many personal resumes claim to be innovative but innovation is hard. Everyone seems to define it differently but the common theme is to create something new or change something drastically. I think from time to time we need to try to look at what we do through a different lens and not just continue to do things the same way we’ve always done them because that leads to spending too much time on autopilot rather than active thinking. Our brains make assumptions that’s we aren’t even aware of many time a day, the only way to change that is to do something a little bit differently. Shake it up every now and then. You might be surprised at what you learn.
The rate at which things are changing continues to increase. Keep learning, have a growth mindset, and challenge yourself to do something new or in a different way.
Part 6: My Career Journey
Transferable skills are what you take with you across organizations, companies, industries. It can be challenging though to identify the most important ones, those worth mentioning and the not so important ones. And then how do you word them or make them work in a variety of scenarios?
Let's start with some common transferable skills:
Time Management Strategic
Public Speaking Change Agent
Interviewing Resource Allocation
Results Oriented Leadership
Team-building Problem Solving
It took me some time and creative thinking to think back through my life and work experiences, consider things I like to do and compare them to my strengths and weaknesses. The time and effort were well spent though because I learned some things about my self that I wasn't aware of before.
I identified my transferable skills to be: idea generation, adaptability, willingness to relate to others, strategic thinking and decision making, the ability to meet ever-changing needs (also known as being a change agent), a well-honed resilience working within time-critical environments, a persuasive and confident nature, and the ability to take command.
If you haven't identified your transferable skills, I challenge you to at least start thinking about them. You might not need the information immediately, but at some point, it could prove to be useful, I know it was for me!
Part 5: My Career Journey
After the shock wore off from losing my job and my confidence was nowhere to be found, I had to start somewhere. I read through the many versions of my resume found on my google drive, and when I realized that my resume could bore someone to tears, I had to take action. Out with the old and in with the new, I guess. There is a great book title that could be the motto for my life at the time, "What got you here won't get you there."
Change is hard, yet inevitable and the sooner you can learn to embrace it the better off you are. I quickly figured out that even the tools for which I would create my new resume were significantly different than I had initially used, talk about making me feel old! The natural starting place for me was to research what works and then tailor my credentials to comply.
I read several books and watched even more YouTube videos, searched for new templates and best practices. Did you know that you only have about 6 seconds to catch someone's eye when they are reading through a stack of resumes? The tool that helped me the most was the book "The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any other Top Tech Company."
Doing research and educating myself to prepare for a new adventure was the most comfortable I would find myself before landing a new job, and there was still quite a bit of work to do before that would happen.
Part 4: My Career Journey
If I could go back to the day I was let go; I would tell myself to thank them for doing me such a huge favor. Then I would remind myself that this is not the worst thing I will ever endure.
I walked away genuinely feeling like I had let everyone down, that there was something wrong with me. After having a chance to reflect though, I wasn't the problem. Not me as a person anyway.
I wasn't a good fit for the job, and the position was a terrible fit for me, but I probably would've stayed there and tried to make it work for who knows how long.
They honestly did do me a favor by letting me go. I just didn't know how awesome it would be to reinvent myself until later.
Part 3: My Career Journey
Desperate times have a way of convincing you to enact desperate measures, but that won't get you what you want. The point at which you feel most vulnerable is also the moment you must dig deep within yourself and find out what you are really made of.
Depending on what your career progression plan looks like and the industry you work in, your options might vary from one end of the spectrum to the other. For me, I had choices, but none of them were appealing. In fact, they could easily be categorized as a step down from where I was.
With the support of great family and friends, paired with a lot of self-reflection I was able to tap into my inner badassery and came up with a list of what I was willing to accept and what I absolutely would not settle for.
The scary part for me was declining job offers with no other ones on the horizon. I stuck to my guns though and held out for what I perceive to be one of the best decisions I've yet to make!
pART 2: mY cAREER jOURNEY
Self-confidence is your belief in yourself and your abilities. Confidence is knowing what you excel at, the value you provide and acting in a way that conveys that to others.
What happens when you stop conveying that to others though? I know what happened to me, I began to doubt myself and my ability to make good decisions. I lost my job, and I believed that my life had fallen apart right before my eyes. I didn't know what to do or where to go, finding a place to start just seemed impossible.
Confidence is a trait that severely impacts everything we do, losing it is incredibly uncomfortable. Fortunately, we are resilient creatures and have a way of making grand comebacks, but they don't happen without a little self-reflection and a lot of work on our part!
pART 1: mY cAREER JOURNEY
I started my first "real" job as an adult the day after I turned 18. Over 20 years later I was faced with a situation that I had never experienced before. I lost my job.
I played it off more like I had been laid off, but honestly, I got fired. I just couldn't admit it to myself much less anyone else. I was embarrassed, ashamed, scared, and angry. The terrifying part is that I didn't see it coming. I questioned myself as to if I should have seen it coming, what could I have done to prevent it, what was wrong with me?
I didn't know at the time that it would take more than four months even to begin to answer those questions. Spoiler alert, everything worked out alright for me, and I am sharing my story over the next several posts in hopes that it helps someone else as well!
Yesterday I received a meeting invite from my boss that had no agenda and the title was "Carrier Onboarding." I replied asking if this was in fact "Carrier Onboarding" or if auto correct changed "Carrie" to "Carrier" and since I was the only person on the invite did it mean I was trouble for something? He quickly updated the meeting invite so that the subject simply said "Onboarding" and no reply to my second question about whether or not I was in trouble. 5 hours later and a stressed out Carrie, we had our team meeting, and it was business as usual, but the girl in me just couldn't stop worrying that I had done something wrong. So after the meeting, I sent him a message that said "So you didn't respond yet on whether or not tomorrow's "Onboarding" was me being in trouble for something…" His response was "No problem just wanted to get your opinion." That is when it sank in that I am new to the team and also new to the company, and since he has an open position that he is working to fill, common sense says he probably wants to talk about my onboarding experience… Good thing I was so stressed out!
Yesterday was a rough day for me. I love my job but I am new, which means there is a learning curve and it takes time to transition. I fell short on a project that I am working, I didn't coordinate properly which left me a little unprepared for a call. Ultimately, I was able to course correct with little impact to the project and the project team but it made me realize that I am not perfect. I make mistakes but at the end of the day I feel like I am successful, productive and working toward being a better version of myself.