How to kick-start your career climb

Photo by Rob Pongsajapan.

I’m an impatient person. I often feel like this puts me at a disadvantage, like the times where I get especially prone to road rage in rush hour. I can, however, credit my impatience to the accelerated career path that eventually allowed me to start my own business.

In high school, I was impatient to get to college. In college, I was impatient to get out and start my career. In the working world, I was impatient to take on more responsibility and make more money. As a result, I learned some lessons that gave me a helpful boost along the way.

Start working in your field ASAP

Though your studies should always be a priority, look for strategic ways to balance your course load so that you can start gaining experience in your desired field. This could be volunteering, working part-time or an internship.

Apply for jobs you’re slightly underqualified for

As far as I’m concerned, if you meet every single requirement on a job description, you’re overqualified. Muster up some confidence and throw your name in the hat even if you think you’re just a bit too junior. In your application, highlight the qualifications that make up for the areas where you are lacking. In the interview stage, show that you’re eager and willing to learn the things you don’t know.

Look for maternity leave positions

Employers are often much more willing to take a chance on a junior candidate for a one-year maternity leave position. If you get the job, use that year to prove that you’re absolutely indispensable to the organization.  At the end of the term, they’ll do whatever they can to keep you.

Always stay a step ahead

Have clearly defined career goals at all times so that you can constantly keep your eyes on your next step. If you want to move up in your organization, take initiative to get involved with the people and projects above you. If you have your eyes set elsewhere, understand what qualifications are required for the job you want, and spend time getting relevant experience in your current position.

About the author

Mitchell Fawcett has been working for over 10 years in the lifestyle sector to help brands tell their story and connect with their customers. He has worked alongside some of the world’s largest hotel chains as they underwent major brand evolutions, developing and executing local, national and international public relations campaigns.

Fawcett is passionate about helping brands harness the power of social media to raise awareness, build loyalty and drive sales. He is also an instructor in our Public Relations Certificate.