A lot of people think that a “career” is something that just happens. Perhaps they will land an internship that leaders into a job, maybe a recruiter will spot their amazing handwriting on a coffee cup and ask for their graphic design experience, one day their boss will approach them and offer a promotion …
If you think that your career path is a combination of luck, timing and very little effort on your behalf, then it’s time for a shake-up.
One // Natalie.
Natalie is undertaking an internship at Cool Cucumber Advertising. It’s a 100-hour internship and she works her butt off to go above and beyond their expectations (they even tell her so).
Towards the end of the internship Natalie wonders if she should ask for a full-time job … she decides that if she doesn’t ask she’ll never know – and what’s the worse that could happen?
Unfortunately there’s no room for another full-time employee at the moment, but the Manager assures they will keep her contact details and let her know when there is an opening she can apply for. They connect on LinkedIn at the end of her internship.
Opportunities don’t just happen, they are created. The fact that Natalie proved she is a hard-worker, is motivated, willing to learn and used her initiative to ask for future opportunities means that even though there is no room for her now … when there is an opening she will be one of the first people they contact.
We all know competition in the workplace is fierce. Be like Natalie: work hard, back yourself and genuinely put yourself out there.
Two // Dan.
Dan is studying graphic design. He’s in his final year and finding it hard to land an internship, volunteer position or even casual job in his industry.
Instead of becoming frustrated with his situation, he does the following:
> Dan creates a website for himself to showcase his work
> Dan creates an Instagram profile for himself where he promotes his artwork that he has decided to sell on Etsy
> Dan creates a LinkedIn profile for himself outlining his capability, his experience, that he’s about to graduate and is looking for new opportunities
> Dan starts attending marketing/advertising networking events to chat with industry professionals about himself, their company and the industry
> Dan talks to his tutors about their career paths and how they cracked their first role
I know how hard it is to land a job. Be like Dan, market yourself and make yourself known! You have/are getting a degree! You will not stop until your dreams become a reality! People will notice you … you won’t just be a name and an application … you will be a real person talking to them about your passion.
Three // Sally.
Sally is wondering if she should ask her boss (Julie) for a promotion. Sally assumed Julie was going to offer her the promotion in the annual review meeting she just had, but Julie didn’t; so Sally does the following:
> Sally lists all of the contributions and high achievements she has brought to the table since her employment
> Sally outlines what promotion she would like, how she meets the requirements for this position and what unique qualities she she will bring to the position
> Sally asks to have a meeting with Julie in regards to performance and potential: by giving Julie notice about the details of the meeting, she has ensured that Julie will also be able to reflect on Sally’s performance in the context of a promotion
It’s nerve-wracking asking for a promotion, no matter what position or industry you are in.
If you feel like you deserve one based on your work ethic and achievements, then take the steps above and make it happen!
Hopefully from these stories, you can see that the direction our career paths take – is up to us. We are in control of our work ethic and how we us our initiative (to say the least). After all, the responsibility of our careers are in our VERY capable hands.