Career tips coming from someone at the start of their professional life, a Gen Z 20-year-old no less, might not sound very helpful at first glance. Normally this type of advice originates from someone who has weathered the course of time or learned valuable life lessons from ‘back in the day.’ These people are fantastic sources of knowledge and can offer great career tips. At the same time, younger generations have absorbed knowledge that is just as important. The simple answer as to why someone like me could have any career tips to give is because our world has drastically changed, especially in the past few years, and career tips are evolving.
You never know who or what can open a door to better opportunities. Networking is very important throughout a career and especially when you are just starting out. Networking can be viewed like a flowchart. Each bubble represents a goal, or career idea you may have. Then, as you meet more people and make connections, those connections help you to reach your goals. The more you network, the more connections made, thus more growth in your chart, or career. Networking has no physical limit, as you can network in a board meeting, online via platforms like LinkedIn, or even in a coffee shop waiting for your order. Being open to conversation is a bigger aspect of career growth than many may think. Yet, as you consider the opportunities networking can provide, you may realize it is something to do more often in your own career. If having conversations is something you find yourself struggling with, take a look at our blog, How to talk to anyone, anywhere.
We’ve had it drilled into our brains since an early age that it’s important to be a team player. From little league to class projects and college finals, and now in the work world, where we are often collaborating with our coworkers, it is again important to be a team player. There is sometimes an interesting stigma around being a team player where ‘team players’ are seen as the people who want to take over or be in charge. While I’m sure most have experienced this a handful of times, it’s important to reflect and see if you have ever been that person. Personally, I’d have to say I have been ‘that person.’ Being a team player is about finding the balance of providing your opinions while respecting the opinions and feedback of your team. You never want to burn bridges or lose somebody’s respect. The idea of being a team player correlates with networking. If you are easy to get along with and enjoyable to work with, you are creating more opportunities for yourself in the future.
Being valuable and staying valuable are two separate yet important aspects of career growth. Growing within a company means expanding your knowledge in your role and the company itself. Switching gears and expanding your career by moving companies means proving that you are valuable enough to join their team and can bring in new perspectives and ideas. For both, increasing your knowledge through reading or training, earning certificates in your field, and understanding how industries are growing and advancing is essential. As we’ve mentioned in past articles, like Who are the Digital Natives and The New Age of Social Media, we are in an increasingly digital world, meaning you need to become more tech savvy. Finding ways to be more knowledgeable and to stand apart from others in the same field are great ways to be more valuable to companies you work for and would like to work for in the future.
Goal setting is a standard part of daily life. We set goals like calling our mom once a week, only having one soda a day or working out at least once a week. Looking through a bigger picture lens, goal setting can be very helpful with growing in your career. Having set goals and being able to refer back to it as needed is very helpful with staying on track. It’s a motivator and a reminder of what you’re working towards which is helpful in considering how to achieve it. Without goals, you may become stagnant in your career. Setting goals gives you something to work towards, and once you have achieved them, take a minute to celebrate your successes. This is a great way to keep moving forward.
About Megan Valco
Megan Valco is an Account Assistant at Haute In Texas. Currently attending UTSA, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Digital Communications. Her hobbies include enjoying day trips to Fredericksburg and the beach, painting and finding new thrift stores to shop. After graduating, her aspirations have no limit as she plans to continue working in the PR and Marketing world, as well as, traveling and living across the U.S. and abroad.