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Don’t Just Stand There! How To Go After What You Want

Today’s post is by Sarah Fudin, who currently works in community relations for the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education’s online programs. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys running, reading and, of course, Pinkberry frozen yogurt!

Congratulations, You’ve Made It! 

You’ve landed an internship, your first job or maybe even your second job!  You likely found yourself in this position because of your hard work and determination in going after something that you really wanted… but now what?

How do you continue to go after what you want once you’re on steady ground?

In College  

From talking with friends and colleagues, I’ve found that as college students we were all a little more fearless going after jobs than we are now as young professionals.  This makes sense to me – in college there was really nothing to lose.  If we didn’t get the job we applied for, we were really no further back or ahead than we were when we started.  During my senior year of college I was fearless to apply to companies all over the country in all different industries, because who knew, maybe I would be the missing link they were looking for!

Now What?

It makes sense that many of my friends do not have the same mentality as they had back in college – once you’ve landed that job it’s nerve-racking to think of your next step, especially when you’re paying back your college loans, living paycheck to paycheck and trying to make a great impression at the company you work for.
But, and I honestly believe this, if you lose your drive and determination to grow because you’re scared to fail, you may lose that ambition that made you so attractive to your current company in the first place.  If you’re great at your job, I’d assume your company would want to keep you.  If you’re great at your job, I’d assume you have some awesome mentors that you work with.  If you’re great at your job, I’d assume there is room for you to grow!
As an intern turned full-time employee, who then earned a promotion and relocated to a city I desperately wanted to be in, I am a firm believer in going after what you want!  Of course, be smart about it, but why wouldn’t you? – you’re a classy career girl!

Here are 5 tips for going after what you want in your career:

  1. Don’t expect a huge promotion or bonus or anything… right away. You should expect if you’re doing great that you’ll be recognized for it.  Take time for your company to realize your values and skill set, nothing happens overnight!
  2. If you have an idea in mind of a different department you’d ideally like to work in, get to know some of your coworkers in that area to learn more about what they do and keep your eyes and ears open to any opportunities.
  3. Maintain a good relationship with your boss. If your boss is a great manager, they’ll want feedback from you about how they are doing and they’ll want to give you feedback too.  Remember to always be honest and be professional.
  4. Be aware that a lateral job-shift may not be the worst thing in the world, if it will bring you closer to a department or dream job you have in mind.
  5. Stay classy – of course, you already know this.
If you’re at a company you love, but you don’t love your job, keep your eyes open for opportunities and be prepared to work hard for what you want!  Good things come to those who wait, but great things come to those who lead the charge!  Good luck!

What are your tips to go after what you want in your career?

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