The climate in higher education is continuously changing and the majority of students are now working part- or full-time jobs to help pay for school and living expenses. If you are eager to look beyond these positions into the future—graduating with that degree, it can be difficult to stay committed to high-quality work at that company. This position you hold can greatly benefit you in the long-run and after you have snagged your degree, use this time to make connections and develop relevant experience for the next move in your career.
FIND THE SKILLS YOU WILL NEED.
You sit down to work on your resume and find the job description you wanted to apply for so that you can hone in on your skills relevant for the position. One great way to sift through the entire description is using a highlighter to find terms or skills that a hiring manager might be specifically looking for.
Once you have a strong understanding of what they are looking for, you can start molding your experience and education into selling points.
This same process of finding different career positions listed online or meeting with individuals in the field you are interested in working for is important when you want to make the move from a job to a career. Being aware of the necessary skills or experience you will need, is an important start in finding training or projects that will give you that edge.
CHAT WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR ABOUT YOUR GOALS.
If you work for a company that has many employees in many departments your supervisor can be stretched thin and might not have an ample amount of time to just chat. It might seem like the only time you speak is to hear about new projects, things you need to be doing, and even a quick “great job”. So…how are you supposed to tell them your goals if there is no time? Make time. Ask for the time.
Traditionally, if you make yourself available for them and let them know you are interested, they will find time for a one-on-one meeting. Once they acknowledge your goals, two things can happen. Your supervisor will now have you in the back of their mind if they hear of management or promotion opportunities. As well, if there is a need for a leader for a specific project at work, who will they look to—someone that continuously shows up late, looking to do the least amount of work or someone who just had a recent conversation about their career goals?
TAKE ON THOSE LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE BEEN PASSING UP.
We get it—it can seem like you are at your job for a paycheck and you want to do the minimum between those time periods of being clocked-in and –out. It can be hard to see past this idea as often it can be embedded into the work culture, but what if you chose to utilize this time to showcase your abilities for future options?
Let’s take for example an individual that has a goal to be a manager in human resources and is currently working as a receptionist in a small business. They would want to ask themselves, how can I use this position to move me in the right direction? One piece of that puzzle is to take on work and projects that are beyond their current job description. This receptionist could speak with any groups or individuals involved in human resources to see what opportunities there are to contribute to. Check the possibility for committees to serve on, projects that would give you experience in a field you are interested in, and just make the commitment to going above your job description—especially if you are looking to better your work situation.
DON’T BURN BRIDGES, BUILD THEM!
If you are not exactly where you want to be or if the only commitment to a role you have is the paycheck you receive every two weeks or month, it can be easy to not care what your supervisor thinks of your work. You may give little thought to leaving on a positive note or providing them ample time to find someone to replace the position. There is the possibility you might even leave on a sour note if there is a disagreement by shouting or quitting.
Don’t. Do your best to always leave a position on a positive note. You never know the possibilities that can come from keeping strong relationships with those you have worked with—new opportunities within the organization to return, outside positions they want to share, and great references.