By Tamara Foster
Last week I attended a panel hosted by the Black Public Relations Society of Chicago. The panel was titled, “Making the Right Strategic Moves for your Career.” When you make the decision to go to college, you think that growing professionally happens naturally and in a linear, progressive path. That was my expectation for my career at least. After experiencing much indecisiveness, road blocks and speed bumps, it was refreshing to learn from the panel that every day can be a day of career revival as long as you have the right attitude, control and are equipped with necessary tools to navigate career opportunities and hurdles. The panel shared several nuggets that I refer to as the secrets of career growth but the two that resonated with me the most were – number 1, you need advocates and number 2, ask for what you want.
Life can get you down and so can the day to day responsibilities of your position. On some days you may hear more negative feedback than positive and this can take a toll. To keep your career energy up, you need advocates. You need a career team. You need a team of people who will give you honest feedback yet build you up, make you feel good and help you take advantage of those pivot points in your career. Advocates will help you see the silver lining and when it’s time to take advantage of career opportunities, they’ll advocate for you.
When people are overlooked for opportunities, we often think it is favoritism (which it could be, don’t get me wrong) or a complete injustice for whatever the reason. In reality, the person who is being recognized or promoted more than likely walks into that situation asking and expecting it. They often times demand it. If you want or need something, you must ask for it. Ask confidently. Be intentional. Take control of your career.
Additional golden topics discussed were the value of your network, how to effectively develop and manage relationships and how to position yourself for your career goals; very valuable information. Unfortunately, I can’t share them all so I recommend that you stay committed to your growth through education, events and networking such as attending professional events like this one.
“If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission.” – Unknown