Throughout a professional journey, we are faced with many decisions and our actions can greatly affect our future. With my own career I have had many opportunities for jobs and side gigs, some I have accepted and some I have not. With each job I have enhanced my knowledge in one way or another.
So the questions arise, which opportunities should you take? How do you find amazing opportunities? How can you learn from each new adventure?
When I started out in my career I was right out of high school. I had no intentions of attending college whatsoever. Fortunately, I had an amazing boss who mentored me and encouraged me to further my schooling. He gave me guidance that I actually listened to because I had gained respect for him. He was a role model because I witnessed his lifestyle and family life, and I wanted something similar in my own life. We formed a wonderful work relationship that fell into what made him feel like a second dad to me. If I hadn’t been willing to open up about myself and ask questions, my future would have looked much different.
In order to change we need to be vulnerable, and while that is very difficult to do, it is necessary in the process of improving and learning. I’m sure you can think of a time in your career when you felt especially vulnerable, I can only imagine the growth that came afterwards. We learn from our mistakes,
and it is always ok to fail as long as we learn from the experience.
When an opportunity presents itself you can ask yourself these questions:
- Will this opportunity enhance my knowledge about my career path and give me more options in the
- Will this opportunity affect my family in a positive way? Write down a pros and cons list.
- Can I handle this new opportunity with everything that is already on my plate? And last but not least:
- Why shouldn’t I accept this amazing opportunity?
Of course we can’t ask ourselves these questions unless we have an offer in the first place to do something new or different. How do we get there? NETWORK. Let your colleagues, friends, family, and coworkers know you are looking to jazz up your resume and career. You may really enjoy your current position and that’s just fine! But if you are looking to continue to progress in your career, or add a side gig, it’s time to reach out and let people know. Be aggressive about it but not pushy. If you haven’t created a LinkedIn profile yet, I encourage you to do so. Now, some of you may be thinking this will jeopardize your current job. That all depends on how you present yourself and word your messages. Be clear and concise with others that you will not leave your current position unless you feel you have been given an amazing opportunity to further your knowledge and career.
In each career adventure you go on, you have the power to invaluable skills. College was an amazing experience and is necessary for many careers, but I have to say, my street smarts of working in the same industry for nineteen years straight definitely gave me more knowledge than my schooling provided — social skills, how to work with difficult people, and the importance of prioritizing your life.
I worked for a product company for a couple years, and while that was a fun venture and I learned a lot, the main thing I took away from the experience was that my family was neglected from the time I started till the day it ended. Without realizing it, we can affect our family and those around us. We can easily get caught up in the lure of something we believe will be amazing and then doesn’t turn out to be so great. However, we can still learn from these situations and enhance our knowledge by preparing
ourselves better for future jobs. Since working for that company I have prioritized differently and my family is much happier. Which makes me happier and more ready to tackle my new adventures.
On the flip side, I have worked for and with amazing people over my career and as I look back I can say I have learned something from each one. I even learn from those I have the privilege of serving in the workplace (customers, clients, patients). We need to realize even if we are in a bad situation we can learn so much, even if it means hurting for awhile before we pick ourselves up again, network, reach out, and find that other amazing opportunity.
When an opportunity does present itself and you question whether you are good enough or not, or if it will be too challenging, or for whatever reason, I want you to think more positively about yourself! Open up your career for something new and different. Stretch outside your comfort zone to find a new adventure that you can love. Or, that you can fail at miserably and learn a lot from. Want to start small but add to your resume? Consider writing an article for our blog/newsletter!
Bottom line, give yourself room to grow and learn by experiencing what you can in your career. Don’t hold back! It’s time to open up and be vulnerable, get ready for that new adventure and learn from each experience.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay