Do you have a Career Road Map? As with any goal you set, you must have a vision for how you want to get there, a GPS. For a GPS to operate, you must first be in action. In other words, you input your destination, along with an estimated time frame in which you will arrive. You must be intentional… ask yourself: Where am I going? What is it that I desire? Whom do I wish to become? What do I hope to accomplish? Whom will I impact?
After you’ve written down the answers to these questions and entered them into your GPS, there are three (3) major components that should be included in your Career Road Map: 1) Experience; 2) Exposure; and 3) Education or the 3 E’s.
Why these 3?
Let’s walk through the impact each one will have in your career and make you shine.
If you’ve never operated a GPS before, you will need a manual to navigate the system. Once you’ve used it, it becomes familiar and now you’ve gained the experience needed to understand the equipment. This is much the same process in your career. To rise above your peers, practical, hands-on experience is key. Experience broadens the divide between you and your peers because a degree, alone, will not be enough for you to stand out in a busy, competitive workplace, whether as an entrepreneur or an employee. Experience reflects your commitment, patience and tenacious attitude in achieving your goals. Potential clients and employers will see these traits in you and become eager to travel your road to success. Keep in mind that experience requires growth and development, which are usually met with a cost, both personally and professionally. While important, the experience you gain may not always be pleasant. Drive on anyway, knowing that, in the end, these experiences will help you to reach your destination.
Now that you have gained invaluable experience, how do you market yourself? How do you gain the exposure needed to get noticed and land your career dream job? Get involved! Drive where your passion takes you. Immerse yourself in opportunities that showcase your marketable traits and skills to shine. Increase your visibility in the workplace and raise your profile. Allow me to give you a word of advice… when a promotion opportunity comes up within your workplace, don’t assume you will get the job, even though you may be the most qualified candidate. If the interview panel knows nothing about who you truly are, someone less qualified will most likely get the job. This will not happen if you build strong connections with influential people, take the initiative to represent the company at workplace functions and volunteer for high-visibility assignments. Don’t keep your head down, working so hard, that you don’t get noticed. Don’t wait for someone else to “promote” you; you are your own best promoter.
How successful would you like to be in your career? How successful can you be without a degree? Education is paramount to your success. Depending on your career endeavor, a degree may not be necessary; however, education is absolutely necessary. Advanced education proves to your employer that you have the motivation and drive to continuous learning, which bodes well in the workplace. Consider this… while a degree may not be required along your career path, English and language skills are required because they will aid you in communicating your ideas more effectively. Communication skills are imperative in any role, whether you are dealing with your internal or external peers, customers, managers, etc., you will need to convey your plans and ideas effectively. In addition, it is a known fact that the more you learn, the more you earn. It is no accident that the word ‘learn’ contains the word ‘earn.’ The more educated you are, the more income you can demand. Matriculation at a college or university and the exposure it will garner will allow you to learn from others, develop your interpersonal skills and learn valuable skills in time management and prioritization. Can you attain success on your career roadmap without an education? Sure, you can, but why sputter along with two-thirds (experience and exposure) of a tank of gas when you can add this third element, and travel successfully to your destination on a full tank?
Drive on with the 3 E’s to SUCCESS!