It’s hard not to think about the days ahead. I had an interview today (yay!) but I’ve come used to not expecting anything to come of them. It’ll officially be a year of job searching in March (yikes!) but I want to stay positive and keep working towards my goals. It’s no secret that I spend a lot of my time thinking and planning. It’s literally all I do, yet I never seem to take action. I’m so busy adjusting and perfecting, that I never actually make the first move. Which led me to thinking about the changes I really want to make as I [slowly] progress as a professional.
While chatting, my interviewer made a comment about seeking someone who is “proactive” versus “reactive.” Someone who not only does what’s asked of them, but makes an effort to become invested in the community/people that make up the organization. And surely this is not anything new, but it just got me thinking about how I can take more steps to invest in not only myself but really throwing myself into the opportunities that are presented to me. So I just came up with some easy ways to start getting more involved and taking charge of the directions you want to go in.
Volunteer Your Services
Volunteering is always a good way to become involved. Not only are there usually benefits for you as an employee to take part in any Company Volunteer Days, but it makes for a great opportunity to learn more about your co-workers in a more relaxed environment. You can also explore interests outside of work as well. I volunteered for months with CorePower Yoga and it was an amazing and rewarding experience. Not only did it help me gain new references to add to my resume, but it helped me reach a better sense of clarity and balance mentally.
It never hurts to brush up or learn a new skill! Dabble, Code Academy, and can help you find opportunities to broaden your horizons or try out new interests in a noncommittal way.
Taking on more responsibility is daunting, but simply getting the conversation started with your supervisor or your HR Department can pave the way for future progress. You don’t even have to start big. Even though I am not “permanently” employed at the moment, I cannot tell you how many times I have filled in at a company only to have them praising me for simply having a positive attitude and doing my job. Job descriptions aren’t the only rule. Anytime I’ve taken the extra step to lift the pressure off my boss, it definitely didn’t go unnoticed.
And taking advantage of any training or certifications that your office feels comfortable paying for will always pay off. Consider any that are related to skills or credentials that would help round our your current role.
So far, these are some things that have crossed my mind as I’m trying to increase my “career collateral” lately and hopefully you found them helpful as well!