So I want to share my thoughts about something a little off the beaten path (of fashion) today…
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an Account Director at an advertising agency in Manhattan. I have 10 years of experience in the industry and have learned a few things along the way. I’ve found it really imperative to learn how to sell myself and present my accomplishments in a way that shows people that I’m worthy of the job, of the promotion, of the title, etc. This is certainly a learned skill for most. I would venture to say that probably 75% of the workforce doesn’t feel very comfortable touting their own accolades and shouting their merits from the mountaintops. It’s not something that normally comes naturally. BUT, it’s hugely important if you ever want to progress in your career. If you’re looking for that next great opportunity or maybe a promotion/title change at your current company, this is something you will inevitably have to do.
So, I’m here to help. I want to preface this by saying that I’m still learning every single day and I’m certainly no expert but I’d like to impart a little bit of the wisdom that has propelled me to this point. And without further ado, here are the action steps you can take to prevent yourself from being stuck in that dreaded career rut.
Always keep your resume updated. I think it goes without saying that your resume should be updated each time you start a new job, right? Well, I’d take it a step further and say that you should be constantly tweaking your resume and ensuring the following things:
Is the wording complimentary of your skillset?
Are the descriptions of each job as specific as possible?
Have you included numbers like increased sales, budgets you’ve managed, results from your work, etc.?
Does your personality shine through at all? Is there a sense of who you are outside of work somewhere in there?
If your resume doesn’t include these things, revamp it. I’ve seen so many resumes and wanted so badly to give the candidate feedback on why we didn’t choose to interview them specifically based on that one sheet of paper. Your resume is your calling card, treat it with the upmost respect. Nurture it. And hopefully it’ll bring you good fortune one day.
Write down your praise. Do you have emails from clients or managers or coworkers that praise you and the work you do? Keep them! Start a folder on your Desktop and save every single congratulatory or praiseworthy email for future reference. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re able to easily reference a note from 2015 where your crazy client said you were a rockstar. ;)
Solicit feedback. If you’re not receiving feedback from your team/manager, ask for it. Lots of companies nowadays have a system in place where you can solicit feedback through an online portal so that it stays anonymous. Ask the people that you work with the most what you can be doing to improve. And of course, check in on what you’re doing well — feedback should be positive AND constructive.
Plan. Plan. Plan. You should have a personal career plan that you check from time to time to ensure you’re tracking against your goals. Again, lots of businesses have some type of goals management system that managers/employees work on together to track an employee’s goals and their progress along the way. If you’re constantly checking in with yourself (preferably every quarter), hopefully you’ll be prompted to ask for that raise that you listed as number 2 on your list 2 years ago or start taking classes to learn that skill you thought you’d be an expert on by now. What’s that popular saying? Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Be selfish. That might sound like an odd tip but the wording is intentional. Listen, these companies do not care about you. I mean sure your coworkers like you and hopefully your boss sees your value but the bottom line is that you work for a corporation (probably) and the corporation’s number #1 goal is to be profitable. Your specific career growth is not a top priority. So, make it YOUR priority. If you feel stagnant and uninspired, do something about it. Your career progression should be your main focus, at all times. Don’t feel loyal to a company that would lay you off immediately if times got a little rough. You don’t owe these people anything but your 2-week notice. Do what makes you happy, fulfills you, and pays you the money you deserve. Period.
So, as you can see, these tips aren’t rocket science but I’m hoping they help you a bit. They’ve certainly helped me take a stand when it comes to what I want out of my career and I’ve become much more comfortable with speaking about myself and what I feel I deserve, whenever the time comes.
Let me know what you think. Do you have any other tips that could help someone struggling right now? Drop them in the comments below! As always, thanks for reading. xoxo - Ash
Outfit Details below:
Dress: Rachel Roy (from TJ Maxx!)
Denim Jacket: Amazon
Earrings: Shein (one of them broke yesterday :( so sad)
Photographer: Jaclyn Massi (@venturingjax on IG)