Managing My Career
(Excerpt from my speech at our 16th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence)
I decided to select a topic from my latest book for admins, Underneath It All. At our conference the one big 'aha' moment was when I asked all 120 attendees, "Where do you go to learn about your profession--what resources do you use?" While a few told me about resources they use to develop skills, not one person could tell me a source they use to learn about the career itself. I was shocked! Why is this? (I'll discuss this further in a different blog.)
The first thing I did was take the words in my title and dissect them:
Career -- Do you see yourself as having a career? When you think career as opposed to job, you are more likely to get serious!
My -- It is your career; no one else's. The bad news is, it is your responsibility. The good news, it is your responsibility.
Managing -- Are you managing it or just going wherever life takes you? And more important, steering it in a direction that you want to go..
I shared with the audience how there are different pathways and to note where they are right now, such as:
- I am happy I even have a job in this economy.
- I like my current job just the way it is.
- I like my executive and the work I do and want to grow within this position and more.
There are outside forces that influence our choices with our careers such as financial, parenthood, marital status, not skilled, limited opportunities where you live, fear, and thinking you are too old or know everything there is to know. This led to an inspiring story of Rose, an 87-year old icon who attended college, got her degree and taught us that we are never too old to learn.
I led the audience in a robust conversation about applying Adminology to their careers. There are 2 sides to Adminology: Art + Science. What is the art side of managing? (such as vision for my career, it fills a need, in line with my values). What is the science side of managing? (such as writing a plan, monitoring my progress, structure to my approach).
After discussing making wise decisions about your career and how to do a career analysis, I finished with how to have a great career right where you are! A few ideas are:
- seek new education or training. When you feel like your career is in a rut, try to find educational opportunities that re-ignite your curiosity.
- ask for guidance. Perhaps there is a barrier to advancing that you cannot see.
- speak up. Career stagnation can sometimes be fixed by speaking frankly to your manager about the situation.
- move on. If none of the above suggestions work, you may want to consider whether there is another job that suits you better.