If you are just starting out or coming back from a break in your career, then this is for you. Throughout my career, I have identified some key milestones which have helped me transition from one role to another, take on more interesting responsibilities and helped me discover that one’s career journey is more than just hours of work, or meetings or presentations. How you go through your career journey is very important and can be fun and enriching to your life and those around you.
The first and foremost mantra that I have developed for myself, which will work for anyone because it is just a framework and you can build on it the way you like it. I call it INVOLVED.
How to get INVOLVED in your own career journey, its starts with Interest, followed by growth and Learning.
- I Find what Interests you.
- N Grow your Network.
- V Volunteer, gain experience, give back.
- O Opportunities – Find or Create them.
- L Learn to grow and grow to learn.
- E Become an Expert
- D Do the same for others
Basically, get out there, and get INVOLVED. The first part of this Mantra is understanding and knowing what Interests you. Because if you are interested in something, you will love doing it all the time and wont feel like work.
Next one was a bit hard for me in the beginning, Network, this is because by nature, I am an introvert, however with practice I have overcome my fears, my inhibitions. You will too, for now just know that it is possible. And being with the right kind of people, positive energy will make your overall career journey more meaningful as it will add value to you while adding value to others. It is a Win-Win.
Give back to the community, some people do it with money, some do it with time, some will share what they know and others will show you the path. There are many ways to do this and if you are wondering what you can do, just look around in your community. Everyone needs help, when you help, you learn, when you help you realize that you are not the only one. The Interest part is very important as this will guide you to whatever you want to do with your time and help find the right volunteer opportunities.
Yes, I said Opportunities, this is a big one, this is probably more misunderstood aspect of our lives than anything else. What is an opportunity? This is more deep than you think. Just remember, you can create an opportunity for your self and for others. You can open the door when the opportunity knocks, but you can also put a door for people to knock on. There are plenty doors around, look for them.
Learning never stops. Learning happens when you listen, when you practice and most importantly, learning happens when you teach. I have mastered my communication skills by practicing it on others while teaching them a thing or two while I ended up learning a bunch. So be open to learning. This is your life long partner and support for your intellect and your mind.
If you have made it to this phase of becoming an Expert, just remember, this is also a phase. Your expertise is as good as the current that moves through the ocean waves. Learning never stops and you will continue to strive to become an expert while others see you as one, think of this as a breather, not a final stop. This position will give you more power to help others, learn more and be a better you. This will also open more doors where you can contribute to your community and society.
While the Get INVOVED strategy is a continuous and always emerging, one of the main reasons why I find joy in what I do is the ability to be of help to someone, the opportunity that I get to be able to do the same for others. Some people call it paying it forward. Some call it mentoring and all in all, its a cycle. The cycle repeats, we are just mere travelers in this career journey which is never ending.