The events of the past few years have given us pause on so many levels. Specifically, it has given us time to reframe and refocus our personal lives, as well as our professional lives. And, career choices have gained even greater importance than ever before, along with the definition of success. It is pivotal. “The Climb” has now gained new meaning as professionals evaluate and reassess their career choices and what lies ahead. In addition, undergraduates are preparing to make the pilgrimage from the rich halls of academia to the paths paved to the world of gainful employment.
Whether you are at the beginning of your journey, looking ahead with ripe anticipation, or in the season of changing jobs or careers, one thing is for certain: it is vital to chart a course as you embark on the climb. Your ability to navigate your ascent will undoubtedly determine your level of success and fulfillment. But first, it is key to take an assessment of the tools in the career toolbox, designed to assist in gaining the confidence and conviction to do what it takes to realize your vision.
- Frame your Brand. Day by day, week by week and month by month… your brand is being shaped by what you say and by what you do. Your responsibility is to continue to take inventory of precisely who you are, your attributes, your strengths, your core values and ultimately your vision, as you determine how you wish to be perceived in your workplace environment and in the world. Capture your unique voice and once found, own it.
- Dare to be Different. Don’t be the one that colors between the lines nor the one who lives in the center section of the bell curve. Be the outlier. They are the ones that think differently and disruptively. They are the brave ones, the risk takers. They have the courage to take the leap to become bold, provocative and fearless leaders.
- Have a Dose of Patience. I know that you have heard it all before, but it is worth saying again. Set your personal goals but it is imperative to recognize that actually achieving them will take time. Refrain from the need for immediate gratification in the workplace. You may need to fight the expectation to be the CEO in year one of your career.
- Failure is your Friend. Your climb will most certainly present challenges along the way. You may trip up in a presentation. You might miss a deadline. You might forget to apprise your boss of a critical event. When the climb gets challenging, use your failures. Learn from each and every one of them because failure gives you the freedom to continue to grow and DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.
- Resiliency is your Savior. After a stumble, it is key to create a path to recovery and resiliency. Begin the process to recover by taking the first step and then to the stairs. NOT THE ELEVATOR… no shortcuts. It is the forward velocity that allows you to ascend and create resiliency, strength and the courage to do it over and over again.
- Understanding Workplace Culture. The workplace can be welcoming but it can also be intimidating and stressful. But as an employee, your job is to arrive and be open to learning that culture. Pay attention. Ask questions. It will evolve and you must evolve with it. As a founder, know the culture that you wish to create for your employees, even if you can count them on one hand. Notwithstanding the size of the organization, the culture is key. It is in your workplace that your Brand finds its truth. Intimately knowing your brand allows you to navigate workplace culture with poise, ease and confidence. And, diverse workplaces have immeasurable value. They change companies that can ultimately change the world.
- Realize your Passion. Through this journey, you’ll step into different positions. Use each as an opportunity explore and discover your passion. Once found, it will be the light that burns brightly; illuminating the way as you make the climb and find more and more success. Through the climb, we discover ourselves and where our passions lie.
- Soar. As we move through this all-important phase of life, you must believe that it is worth it. Those projects that present the challenge can also bring the smile. Regardless of the time it takes to realize your passion, recall what is needed to discover it. Have FUN while keeping your career toolbox close by. If you can make the climb FUN, you know that you have ignited your passion. This incredible life that you envision will require that you navigate the rigors of the climb; your physical, emotional and spiritual health are vital, as well, for it is through this belief that you don’t simply fly, when you are undeniably meant to soar.