Even though my days of job searching are over, I still can’t say that I’ve found the exact thing I’m supposed to be doing. 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 progress as a professional.
Now that I have a more stable and somewhat predictable work schedule, I’ve really been trying to think what can I do to breach the gap from where I am now and to where I want to be. Then I remembered, something an interviewer once told me when I was job hunting out of college.
My interviewer made a comment about seeking someone who was "proactive" versus "reactive." Someone who not only does what's asked of them, but makes an effort to become invested in the community and people that make up the organization. And it just got me thinking about how I can take more steps to invest in not only myself but really start throwing myself into the opportunities that are presented to me instead of trying to obsess over creating a “perfect” road map. Most careers aren’t linear. So why was I trying to force it to be?
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.
Test Your Skills
It never hurts to take on a side hustle or learn new skills. Think back to old hobbies, your daydreams as a kid, and take stock of what others say you’re good at. You might be surprised, something that seems so easy to you can be something that someone else would pay to get help with. Taking away the pressure of working for a paycheck can help unveil interests that you wouldn’t otherwise try of explore. There are also plenty of freelance or learning platforms (Upwork, Etsy, Skillshare….l) you can use to get started.
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!