I’m a bit late to the party (as I just discovered her blog last night), but Jenni of Story of My Life has issued a “Blog Every Day in May” challenge.
Since I’m fresh off of the A-to-Z Challenge and I’ve been sort of missing posting every day, I’m going to join in! (Although I already predict that I won’t actually be blogging every day.)
Jenni’s May 8th prompt is “A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.”
Here’s my advice, in framed-fortune-cookie form:
I’ve had this fortune cookie on my desk at both jobs now (at my last job, it was taped to the top of my monitor; now, it’s been upgraded to a frame). I think it’s a great professional reminder that just because you aren’t currently on your dream career path, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be one day.
I actually got the fortune at a team lunch at my previous job, when we had just hired a new department head (who was championed as being the savior we needed to right our quickly-sinking ship). She presented her goals for the department, and a company executive was present and seemed to be on board. My team was fired up, because it was clear that the company was finally making strides to course-correct after what had been a long and crippling mistreatment of my department. The message (“Always remember where you are going and never forget where you’ve been“) was so fitting at the time, because the company seemed to be acknowledging its grave mistake in having ignored what should have been its most critical department for so long. We had so many ideas! We were ready to help turn things around!
That was around June of last year. At the beginning of October, half of my team was laid off, and the other half were assigned out elsewhere across the company. Needless to say, it was a bit of a sham.
BUT! I’ve held on to this fortune, because it serves as a reminder to me that although I hated that job and don’t love the one I’ve since moved on to, every professional experience I’ve had has been a building block. I’ve learned valuable lessons about big companies and their lack of hindsight, employee loyalty, and long-term thinking. I’ve learned (perhaps most importantly) that I must look out for myself, because it’s easy in the corporate world to become just a cog in their machine.
Having this fortune on my desk serves as a daily reminder that I won’t be in this job forever (thank GOODNESS!). Although I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, I do remember where I’ve been. And each of those experiences has shaped what I’ll do with my future.
I’ve got big plans for myself.
What are your career plans? Any mantras that help get you through?