Over the last three years, I’ve learned that developing career goals is one of the best things a young girl can do for herself.
When I think about how much I’ve changed since I first stepped into the Perry Ellis office in Midtown, I feel so proud of myself. In three years, I’ve gone from an assistant to an associate, had a couple of raises, and continue getting added responsibilities to my job description. That’s not to say that this job didn’t come from a ton of hard work. I also think I’ve learned that developing career goals is such an important aspect of a career. I have a lot of goals for Pink Champagne Problems too! That’s why I wanted to share a few ways to focus on developing career goals today. Whether you’re fresh out of college or beginning a new career path, these tips will help you hone in on what your goals should be!
Money doesn’t necessarily equal value
I know we ALL want to make money. That’s just who we are.
I’ve learned that when it comes to a career, money is worth nothing compared to the other values you might get from a job. For me, I truly am grateful that I get to work with really creative people and also have those people depend on me in return. It feels SO nice to know that I’m needed in my position as a Merchandiser. To me, the value of learning so much from my bosses and the work that I do outweighs how much money I make. (Disclaimer: I by no means make a ton of money OR not enough money. It’s actually a great salary, just felt the need to point that out — I’m not complaining!) I would much rather be completely happy in my position and be constantly learning than be really unhappy and just being used in another job – even if that job was paying me “x” amount more. The experience I’m getting right now at my job is more than I could have ever imagined.
Sometimes your first career, isn’t your best career
I’m VERY lucky that I feel like I landed my dream job right out of college. But I know that isn’t the case for a lot of people. I think that happens more often than not. If you feel like you’re at a dead end or just want to go into something new, I highly suggest doing your research first. Research the heck out of what you think your dream career is. Use subscriptions (paid or not) to your advantage. I’m subscribed to Women’s Wear Daily because I feel like that helps me learn outside of the workplace. It’s also EXTREMELY helpful for keeping up with the digital age — which is beneficial for my blog and my job as a Merchandiser. I love reading articles on my way to work because it helps me keep my mind on work-related things. I often share articles with my bosses, designers, and sales team!
When you feel like you’ve done enough research, make sure you take a moment to hit the refresh button. Spruce up your resume and LinkedIn (very important). Send out emails to HR reps for a company and see if they’ll allow you to come in for an informative interview. And most importantly, stay positive! There are going to be a lot of bridges to cross, but making sure you are developing career goals for yourself will help you find a job you LOVE doing.
Exceed expectations…and then some
Your boss is obviously going to have expectations for you.
I really try to have expectations for myself in addition to those set by my boss. Sometimes it’s tough to set expectations for yourself because you’re afraid to fail (more on that later). Or maybe you’re afraid to hold yourself accountable (yep, I definitely relate to this one). Going into 2017, I wanted to get Pink Champagne Problems set up as an LLC to feel more legit. That’s it. I didn’t think I was going to turn it into a full-time business by any means. But once I registered, something clicked. Pink Champagne Problems WAS, in fact, a business. And I started to treat it as such. Once I began thinking more along the lines of “okay, this blog is also a business”, I started landed more paid campaigns. We’re halfway into the year and Pink Champagne Problems is already more profitable than I was last year. Definitely exceeded my own expectations here!
I really think it starts with getting into the right mindset. Developing career goals has a lot to do with short-term stuff and not just the “where do you want to be in 5 years?” kind of stuff. If you set expectations for yourself, it’ll be fun to see yourself grow over time. And exceeding those expectations is just icing on the cake!
It’s OKAY to fail
I fail all the time. Sometimes I forget to go out on an important email to our overseas offices before work. Other times I regret making a decision once I find out another option would have been more efficient. In my blog, sometimes I wish I could have put in more effort when my content doesn’t perform. All of these “failures” actually help me in the long run. Now I try to write as much information down as possible as a tool to remember things. I try to pay more attention to how my bosses come up with solutions. This way I can follow the thought process when I have to make the call. For the blog, I like to plan out my editorial calendar a bit further in advance (maybe 2-3 weeks) so that I have enough time to just write more. Failure honestly just makes me want to do better. Failure pushes me to step out of my comfort zone and focus more. I like to focus on how to improve certain areas, rather than what I did wrong. Just remember: It’s OKAY to fail!
Brush up on the basics
Let’s get real for a minute. You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t have the basic skills needed to be a professional. These skills include time management (talked about that a bit in this post), networking, communication, and the willingness to work with people who you may not like. When it comes to developing career goals, the basics should always be kept in mind. I personally love working with other people, but networking isn’t a super strong area for me. But since I live in New York, I know I have to take advantage of the opportunities that I get to network. That’s why I try to attend as many events as my schedule allows: with or without a friend (but let’s be honest it’s usually with Linda and Allie). Since I’m still young, I try to soak up all of the connections I make like a sponge. And I’m talking about genuine connections with people. I know there are always a select few people who are top of mind when a fun blog opportunity arises. And I know they’re the same people who would think of me too! It’s all about the mutually beneficial relationships!
So these are a few things I keep in mind when it comes to developing career goals. Whether you’re extremely happy with where you’re at, or you’re looking to dip your toes into something new, it’s always really important to have a set of goals ready to be crushed. I hope these couple of focus points can help you figure out your own career goals!
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