Every career is different. Often, a career that looks planned in hindsight was experienced as a series of relatively random events, as one simply tries to make the best decision in the moment. Certain careers have longstanding, well-defined steps; others are still being forged by people who may be the first in their company or in the country to do that particular work.
All careers, however, contain milestones worth recognizing and celebrating. Whether you’re trying to understand the arc of your career or just need a pick me up, creating a list of stepping stones like these can help you measure career success and plan your next step.
1. Your first career-type job.
Many people have part-time gigs in high school or college, as they work to pay the bills and lay a more solid financial footing. Your first full-time job in a career-path role, however, is a milestone worth celebrating. Whether or not you stay on that particular path, the fact that you took a step toward a stable career speaks volumes.
2. Your first time advocating on your own behalf.
Many jobs are temporary, so we often simply put our heads down and do the work that’s needed. We don’t worry too hard about things like pay or vacation time, because we know the position won’t last.
The first time you negotiate with your boss over something you need, whether it’s a raise or a reasonable accommodation, is a milestone. Here, you communicate that the job matters enough to you that you’ll risk conflict in order to get what you need to do it well.
This milestone may not appear on a lot of resumes, but it’s a big step forward into a professional mindset.
3. Your first management role.
Often, we overlook our first management or leadership role because it doesn’t come with the title “manager” or “leader.” Being put in charge of the team during cleaning, for instance, or being asked to lead a group on a particular project are management and leadership roles that we may not realize.
Being asked to lead, even temporarily, is a big deal. It indicates that your own boss and your co-workers trust you to think through problems and treat others fairly. Never overlook this milestone in your career.
4. Your first career change or stealth job search.
Even the best-planned careers require a change from time to time. The first time you realize you need to adjust your path, or the first time you find yourself looking for a new job while still working at your old one, is worth celebrating. You’re taking your career – and your destiny – into your own hands.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our Minnesota-based recruiters help job-seekers not only find a new job, but also imagine their career path. We help job-seekers set long-term goals and find the job and employer who can help you fulfill those dreams. Contact us today to learn more.