If I did it, then so can you. I recently received the wonderful news of getting promoted after years of hard work, frustration and what I thought were set backs (they actually weren’t, but I’ll get to that later). As I’ve mentioned before, I have a full time job that I do in addition to my part-time freelance work. I want to share tid-bits of my journey to where I am today career-wise and hope it helps you out in some way.
Making a plan
As my readers know, I love to make lists. My career is no exception. When I’m ready to transition or push for a higher position, I usually start out by making a list. It visualizes everything for me, from what I need to do, whom I should talk to, reading I need to do and strategies I need to develop. That way, when I’m sitting before management making a case for myself I won’t look foolish. The confidence is there and I know what I’m talking about. My message is clear to them and they often admire that. Even if you just write down “get a new job” or “start consulting business” that’s a great start. The more you realize what you want, the better you can go about planning for it.
I’d be a lying fool if I chose not to mention this part of my journey. It’s bound to happen at some point to everybody. We just have to choose how to deal with it. A couple of years ago I started applying for different jobs and got called for an interview. The organization was great, the location was excellent and the salary was out of this world. It was the perfect job for me. Out of 200 applicants, I made it to the final round of selection. When it was down to the final round, I went on a second interview and it went well. I just knew I had the job – I knew it was mine. Then it was silence, I never got the call that I’d been waiting for. After a couple of days, I called the manager that had interviewed me and asked if a selection had been made and he told me yes. They were impressed with my package but another candidate was chosen and it was a very difficult decision for them to make. I was crushed. I had to face my current supervisor and co-workers (some of them knew that I had gone on interviews – thanks to the supervisor) after that rejection. It took me a couple of days, but once I got myself together I made up my mind: that next time I come that close to getting a job, it’s because IT’S MINE! I didn’t care about circumstances, other candidates, or interviews. I was going to ace it next time and get the promotion. Sure, there were other applications I put in afterwards that weren’t accepted. I tried other avenues and looked at other careers in which I could advance. Nothing really happened for the next couple of years. But over that time I nurtured that one thought I had after the disappointment I faced with the dream job. I took the positive from the situation; the fact that I made that far out of 200 applicants spoke volumes. I interviewed well and I knew what I was talking about which meant I had pretty good market value. I just needed to keep trying and not stop until something happened. That’s what rejection does to you – if you handle it the right way. I didn’t let it consume me, I let it teach me (ha, I like that! (c) New3Creation Writing).
After learning from the hurtful bout of rejection and making my mind up to never be in that situation again, I started making preparations to actually be in my new job. Did I have it yet? No, but I was doing my darnest to get there! I increased my exposure to various parts of my career field, I went to seminars, I read guidelines and regulations, I volunteered for projects that no one else wanted to touch and went to meetings no one cared about. I picked management’s brain about career moves and what I needed to work on in order to advance (annual performance reviews weren’t enough for me and I made sure they knew that). Were any of these tasks giving me promotions? No, but they were definitely increasing my knowledge and helping me ad more accomplishments to my resume.
After taking a break from applying and pushing for a new job, I mustered up the energy to start applying again. I went hard core, or as a friend of mine says, went into “beast mode”. All of the interviews I previously went on, suddenly served as fuel because I’d become familiar with questions and expectations of positions. All of my responses helped me regain confidence in the push I was making. Before I knew it there were SEVERAL OFFERS on my plate for me to choose from!
I star my new position in a couple of weeks and I am ecstatic about it. The faith and hard work has definitely paid off. I say all of this of course to apply to writing; I want to advance in this career as well. I’m learning that it’s a slow process (molasses!) but I’m enjoying every moment of it as it continues to grow for me.