Leveling Up My Career
I just came out of an interview and was asked what position am I most interested in and I had no idea how to reply.
Some preface: this interview was on the strength of an old colleague. The company didn't have any actual openings but when she passed over my resume, they were impressed with my background and decided to interview me in case something opens up. I have been in the fashion industry for over 10 years. I've had many roles in the business side of fashion but now I find myself in a stand still. It is like my personal life and career have reached a mute point and I need to take time and plan out what is going to happen from here on out.
One thing I do know is that I am far from content. Understanding what I need to do in order to feel happier about my personal life comes a little easier; better credit, build savings, lose some weight, read, travel, and focus on my daughter. For work is a little harder to figure because after all my roles it is hard to knows that I am still not where I want to be. I took my current work position out of mere luck. I was laid off my previous job and this one fell into my lap. As a single mom with a nice lifestyle that I thoroughly enjoy, it is important to me to have a steady income, so I took it. Now close to 2 years later I no longer want to work for survival but I want to put myself in a position where I am working for personal growth and for my future. How do I do that? I asked myself. How do I level up my career?
I see myself much more interested in my creative side. In my 20’s, I thought you had to be born creative but now in my 30’s, I feel like I NEED to be creative in order to survive. Is like the right of my brain finally started to work. Being creative feeds my soul and moves my days. I look at everything now through a creative lens and I love piecing together my day like a story of art and expression but that doesn't pay my bills, yet. I admire women who have made their social media platforms into checks but that is not my field. I do still love being part of a conglomerate and getting out in the field. I just don't see myself in my current office setting. I don't see myself with my coworkers. I don't see myself with this current salary. I want more and I believe I deserve more. So why iIdon't have more?
After the interview I walked back to my office thinking of an important question: What job reflects you? Then that led to: Who are you? And this helped me start to build my professional future. I took the time to manifest my perfect working conditions. And here they are:
1. First thing first, I don't want to feel like I am working. I want to feel like I am coming in to an environment to learn and grow. To give and take. I want to leave each day feeling like I did something for the better of the creative and financial aspect of the company. I want the position to be something that fits me with room to expand.
2. I have a young spirit. I am both sporty and girly. I am cultured and educated in many areas of life. I keep up with the times and I love everything street style. Not really a hype beast but I dip my toe in the pond every so often. I need to work for a company that resembles that. A company that values staying current with trends. Work with a team of my peers, those who balance family life without losing their sense of style. Kristen Crawley or Elizabeth Smart vibes. Grown women who can wear kicks and a dress and be bosses. I want to be that and work for someone that understands that!
3. I want the BAG! I am ready to chase the paper. I see myself making great money and finally earning what my years of experience are valued. I also want a company that evaluates your contribution and compensates with out you begging them to review your work. I want to be valued and appreciated.
4. I want life/work balance. I need them vacation days without being made guilty for taking them. I want a company that understands motherhood and doesn't act like the world is going to end if you wait two seconds to reply to an email. I need a company that also feels like home and not like a sterile environment.
5. I want to work for a company where management is not out of touch. I want my boss, company owner, and HR to be there for their employees. Heck, at least an HR Department that is not always furious and drowning in paperwork and outdated policies.
6. I want the company to have humanitarian efforts. A company that gives back to others someway. A company that enriches others and their employees have the option to participate in giving back.
So how do I get this and find a position that both meets my needs and my background? Well scouting a job is like dating. What do you have to do to find your match? Be honest. If your resume and cover letter were a dating profile give it all you got! use your cover letter to state your needs and use your resume to show why you deserve what you need! I like to make my cover letter personable and interesting. Recruiters and hiring managers read so many of these that when I wrote my letter I wanted to make sure I stand out. In my cover letter I spoke about an article I read on being complacent in life. I wanted to give a message that shows the reader why am I looking for a job and why I deserve the position they are offering through personal accounts. My resume needed more work! I wanted to bring my creative side into it and make sure it stood out. If I were to describe my style I would say I am monochromatic with a splash of girly pastel hues so I did just that on my resume. Bold and beautiful. As for the content, I wanted to not list the usual tasks I did at work. That is basic and I am here to level up so let's level things up. "Track all calendar deadlines, keeping vendors and internal teams on target," now became "Manage time and action for product development and execution." "Build, actualize and maintain seasonal/mini season line plans" became "Administer seasonal line plans." This shorter and straight to the point task descriptions set the tone that I know how to get shits done!
I leveled up my presentation and now I had to level up my approach. I didn't just want to go and apply to conventional job postings. I had to think how would I stand out and show my determination. We all are connected somehow through social media so through the powers be I used my LinkedIn to connect with people in companies that I see fit. It is ok to slide through someone's DM for the job. Just be respectful, be courtesy, introduce yourself and then let it go. Don't go stalking and hounding people because that can lead to a negative reaction.
I am currently putting all these things into practice and have high hopes to finally land a job that meets my dreams. I am also happy I was able to put what I want into paper. Once it is written down I know that is the first step to seeing it come into fruition. Once you tell the universe what you want things happen to make it come to life so, this to me has been the first actual step to finally getting to a place in my career that I will be content and happy in. If you find yourself where I am, ready for more, sit down and think about how do you want to feel when you go into work, what do you want to see, and what do you want to get out of it. Let's make it happen.