I take my career path pretty seriously. I like to assess where I am, where I want to go and think critically about the skills I need to get there. I once had a boss tell me that what stood out in an interview with him was the way I spoke about my career. While the next steps have changed and evolved over the years, it generally gives me an idea of what I’m immediately working towards.
However, my career has actually been defined by two moments when I took a risk.
As an influx of interns and new employees flood the halls at work, I’ve been reflecting on when I started my own foray into the full-time, salaried, real-world life of working and #adulting. It’s been a
long time (ahem) a few years since I first panicked about what to wear to an interview and how to look for an apartment in Toronto and thankfully I’ve learned a few things a lot since then, thanks to a combination of experience, mentors and wise friends. So in honour of graduation/intern/new job season I’ll be bringing sharing some of those lessons over the next few weeks. Now, since I have an arsenal of brilliant friends and readers, if there’s something you want to share on one of these topics throw it in the comments below!
Last week we talked about the ripple effect one small, positive chance can have on your life (missed that post? Check it out here). Even when great things come our way, sometimes we can get into a bit of a funk. I’m not sure if it was all of the rain we’d been having, the slow thaw of Spring or the fact that apparently Mercury was in retrograde (??? who else has a coworker that tracks this? 🙋🏼) but the last few weeks there were days when it felt like the whole city was in a bit of a funk. Thankfully I have a few standby’s that I like to keep on hand for those mid-day slumps when you just can’t even:
Got a networking coffee planned this week? Or maybe you read this post and decided that you’re ready to start flexing those networking muscles? In any case, good for you!
To help you get excited and feel prepared, I’ve put together some lessons I have learned and things I’ve seen in action to help you prepare for, and rock, your next networking coffee.
Meet Amber of Creating Light Studio
When I had the idea for this series I made a “dream list” of the women I knew who were doing incredible things that I wanted to profile – Amber was on this list.
I had the privilege of working with Amber a few years back. She is one of those people who leads with her heart. She’s smart, well-spoken and so passionate about her work. Coincidentally we sat down to chat about this profile on International Women’s Day and had the most incredible conversation about the power of supporting women, setting boundaries and dealing with perfectionism (she refers to herself as a “recovering perfectionist”, something I both admire and am striving towards myself).
I have been so inspired by her entrepreneurial #hustle and was thrilled she agreed to be part of this series. I learned so much from the hour we spent laughing, chatting and catching up over coffee. I learned even more when I read the insights she shares below – I know they will inspire you to think about your own journey in a new light (her ultimate career goal had me going 👏🏻). When you’re done reading, check out her beautiful Instagram feed – her ethereal photos will make you want to spend a day in front of her lens, creating light together.
(skwäd/ɡōl) (noun) (plural noun: squad goals): an inspirational term for what you’d like your group of friends to be or accomplish. Used best when placed at the end of a directional statement.
While I’m sure many of us would love to be part of the seemingly perfect posse of girl power excellence T-Swift has assembled, I think assembling your own squad is so important. And I don’t just mean your BFFs.
There are SO many ways to brand ourselves online, but when it comes to putting our best professional self forward LinkedIn really has become the winner 🏆.
It’s such a simple and effective tool for connecting with people, finding interesting jobs and showing off your amazing skills. But you know that feeling of dread you get when you need to update your resume? And yet after you’ve updated it you feel like a professional rock star, ready to take on all of your career goals?
Yeah, that’s how I often feel about updating my LinkedIn profile.
When it comes to upping your #hustle game, there’s nothing better than learning a new skill (can you tell I come from a family of educators?). After leaving a very intense 24/7 kind of job, one of the things I was most excited about was having time to take classes. Enter, Ladies Learning Code and their Digital Skills for Beginners course.
I know, I know – getting your networking game started, let alone strong, is intimidating. Networking used to feel like my personal everest, and it seemed like everyone else had figured out how to climb it, except me.
The phone chimes, the number of unread emails continues to creep higher, and all it takes is for you to pick up the phone or log into your email *just to check* what’s happening. Before you know it, hours have gone by and your Saturday has been consumes by tasks, replies and BBMs (yes, I work somewhere that still uses Blackberries 🙈). But it’s okay, because you were too busy to have noticed the beauty that was brewing for you outside. And frankly, it couldn’t wait.