“You creep before you walk.” It is an old Trinidadian adage, but very relevant in regards to what it takes to hone your craft. In other words, as young professionals, it’s going to take time, effort and patience to reach your goals.
As one of the young professionals at my company, I’m learning the importance of appreciating my growth and “enjoying the ride,” while still working hard and being proactive about my career. Here are some ways to monitor your career trajectory and make the most of your time in and out of the office.
Put yourself out there
Make yourself known (in a good way). Go to the writing seminars, the meetings and the get-togethers. When appropriate, and you think you have a good pitch for a project, tell your manager. Show how passionate and invested you are in the company.
Keep in touch with mentors
Need advice? Ask your mentors. What do people inside and outside of your company think of your performance? Periodically send samples of your work to, or exchange emails with, the people you look up to. Ask for their feedback.
Know your influences
In the same way a singer knows which artists they like, you as a communications professional need to know who inspires you. Who are the professionals you want to emulate? Learn from their career paths and analyze what it is that you admire about them. I like to make lists in my phone’s note-taking app of the people that I look up to.
Yes, it’s great to be focused on your career, but it’s also important to learn new skills and find new interests that you enjoy outside of work. Consider taking a side hustle, travel, or read the books that you never got around to reading when you were in school. The experiences you have outside the office make you a well-rounded person.
Growing in our careers is something that doesn’t happen overnight. But I look forward to evolving over time, enjoying the journey and trusting where it takes me.