Growing a Career - Zinny Factor

Growing a career whether as an employee or an entrepreneur is one focus of this blog.

When some people say that those working a traditional job have nothing to offer or don’t go through the hustle of entrepreneurship and growing something that’s fulfilling, it really amazes those who buy into the notion of having a professional life.

Let’s create a hypothetical scenario. Jessica graduates college and doesn’t know what next to do with her life but she knows she has to make a living and also wants to grow a professional life!  If not for anything, at least to provide three square meals, because she has to eat. So she goes out in search for a job.

But how does she even begin this search? She decides to put her degree to use. She applies to jobs that match what she studied: advertising. Of course, she tailors her resume well and makes sure she aligns her resume to each job description.

This takes unending hours but she’s willing to do this because she has to get her foot in the door. Jessica had one or two internships while she was still in college, so she’s able to claim a couple of months experience as well.

Months pass, with too many phone interviews to count. She’s later successful with one next step interview: a second one! Wow. She wears her graduation suit for this interview and after two weeks receives a rejection email and how ‘a better candidate with more experience was acceptable’ instead.

This is heartbreaking, but the search continues. The search MUST continue.

Eventually, after over three months, something finally pulls through and Jessica eventually gets hired for her very first job!

She is delighted. Happy. Excited to finally begin ‘life’. She feels independent for the first time in her life. She is happy about this new journey that will lead her to destiny.

Her first day on the job, she is excited to be doing something practical as all she’s been taught in school is all somewhat theoretical. Her communication improves as she’s out speaking with clients and learning how to manage people.

Two years go by and Jessica feels like she’s learned everything there is to learn in her current role. She’s still in an entry-level position, she feels itchy and as though there is something out there she should be aiming for. She wants to learn more and of course advance her career.

So she does some internal research to see if there is a current opening in her company, but there is none! She speaks to a couple of people in the company, but can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At this time, she’s made up her mind that it’s about time she moved on.

A series of job search resumes and yet again, Jessica finds herself in the maze of finding a job. Finding a job in itself becomes a job.

This time, not because she isn’t qualified, but mainly as a result of how little her experience is to even get another job. How will she get more experience when her current job won’t offer her this? How will she get experience when prospective employers won’t cut her some slack? How will she get the opportunity to advance her career? These are some questions that keep crossing her mind.

This seems like a merry go round and at every phase of many workers’ career, some form of challenge or like some will say, a stumbling block seems to arise. Do you get the picture?

It takes a whole lot to be dedicated to your career growth, and in this case not necessarily a job. And in the world of employment, particularly those working a 9 – 5, this is a goal for them.

In the past, there has been a published post sharing the difference between a job and a career. Career growth could have a series of jobs to get to a level of achievement and sustained growth and that is something that takes planning, dedication and in certain cases, a level of intrapreneurship as an employee.

Read: Thinking of a Career Change?

To think that this isn’t a sense of purpose is in itself refusing to see that this might be a person’s sense of fulfillment and purpose or passion. This is one of the reasons why on this site, we share a take on entrepreneurship as well as employment. Whichever way you choose to go about growing your career should be yours to make and no one should be made to feel inferior as a result of their choice.

Read: Are Entrepreneurs also Employees?

“So how can you actually grow your career?” Many workers ask this question from time to time. I have also researched this a number of times.

There isn’t one way to go about this. It takes some level of determination, patience and the scenario or situation at the time to determine a preferable solution. This explains why there are a number of articles on this website giving various takes on how to go about pursuing your career growth.

So if you have decided to pursue growth in your career as an employee, here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. You have to be determined, patient and resilient

I have learned over time that no two situations are the same. Some people find things much easier and others don’t. Like I always say, it gives one a narrative and a story. Your situation is unique and it may take longer to get to your ideal realization. So the right question is: “how ready are you to go on the ride no matter how long?”

2. Be willing to change your perspective when growing a career

If you keep trying to grow your career (whatever that may mean for you) and you are getting frustrated with a certain way you’ve been handling things, maybe it’s time to think differently.

In anything you aspire to grow in, you can’t be complacent and I believe this aligns with career goals too. So if it’s a new course you need to get to the next stage, of course, go for it! Change your approach and keep tweaking until something good comes out from it. There can’t be only one way or method to tackle a challenge.

I’ll wrap up this post with this: ‘If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens’, and this is an excerpt from an article written by Shelly Madden on a speech given by Dr. Sue Black at Inspirefest 2017. If you have some time, read the short article as it’ll inspire you.

Growing a career as an employee isn’t easy and even now that work is changing and many are losing jobs, it’s even more challenging. But who says this is not worth pursuing? Who says you are making a mistake by wanting to grow your career? Only you can make that call.

Remember, sometimes growing your career can mean starting afresh, or it could just mean moving forward (maybe with a new job).

What do you think about growing your career as an employee? Is it an easy task and what does it mean to you? Let me know your opinion in the comment section.

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