April 25, 2017

Career Transitions: No Job Too Small

I have heard people say you need to dress for the job you want.  I have also heard others say you should not settle for a job that is not in your desired career path as it will slow you down or prevent you getting there. 

I agree with the first statement as that has worked for me in the corporate world.  I dressed for the position I wanted, and eventually got there.  Although it may have been due more to having managers with open minds who saw my accomplishments, abilities, and potential rather than seeing me in my various suits.  (Thanks to all the really great supervisors and managers I have had over the years!)

My professional issue is with the second statement above.  You never know where a job will lead you to.  Sometimes what seems insignificant can result in skills that will be useful later on.  Never think you are too good for a task or that the job is too small to fit into your greater career plan.  Each job you do prepares you for the next one.  Skills acquired can usually be applied elsewhere, even into owning your own business.

Here are six examples I can provide from personal experience where something I learned at one job directly led to being hired for another job.
1.    In my teens, I went to work for fast-food chain, where I learned to serve customers with a smile, follow a process, provide quality products, handle money, and do a little bookkeeping.
2.    Before I hit 20 and because of money experience above, I moved to working in a retail store where inventory management was eventually added to my skill set.
3.    After working in retail, I was able to get office positions in companies doing fashion wholesale or car sales, where I learned:  filing, time management, contracts, and some accounting.
4.    Primarily because of my contract and accounting experience, I was able to move to a higher paying position in a financial organization within a technology company, where I learned computers as well as got more experience in: accounting, contracts, and regulations.
5.    Later, the computer experience I gained helped me get a position in another technology company working with programmers and engineers, plus into areas of: training, quality improvement, team-building, and management.
6.    The well-rounded experience gained in the corporate world led to freelance consulting and training.

Note:  I started out babysitting in my early teens.  It did not directly lead to another job, yet I did learn a lot that I could apply to other jobs throughout my career.

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