My Best Career Advice

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This week is a huge step in my career. I am finally sitting for the first year of my certification class. I’ve been looking forward to and dreading this week for the past year. I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready for the exam at the end of this but I’m trying my hardest!

That might make it seem like I’ve got it all figured out career-wise. I can promise you that I don’t though. I’m still figuring everything out too.

I’ve recently accepted the intern mentoring position for my department so I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wish I had known as a college student preparing to enter the “real world” so I can pass this information to the interns that I will be mentoring.

The one thing I wish I had known when I graduated was that you don’t have to have everything figured out yet. 

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated. I thought I wanted to go into marketing but here I am 4 years later still working in finance. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Apply for all of the jobs, do the interviews, and figure it out as you go. There’s no right answer and there’s no easy path. You just have to do what feels right.

You might end up not liking your first job out of college and that’s okay. It’s okay to take some time to figure out what you want to do. There are lessons to learn at every single job even if it’s not your “dream job”.

I never pictured myself working in finance but I took the leap and applied for the job. I didn’t expect to like it and I didn’t think I’d make it even one year. Four years later and I have learned so much. I am a subject matter expert, a leader, and a contributing member to a team of talented people.

We are all figuring it out as we go so don’t feel like you have to have a set plan. You’ve got this!

What’s the best career advice you’ve received?

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Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

Re-Evaluating My Priorities

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Confession: I’m a workaholic. If I’m not working I’m thinking about work and if I’m thinking about work I’m feeling anxious.

My company is really big on work-life balance but it’s SO hard. They want us to feel like we can take vacation time, have flexible schedules, and come and go as needed and I really appreciate that.

At the same time, my department is always changing and growing which makes it hard to have coverage when I need it. My work has to get done on time so it can’t just wait until I get back.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m only 26 but have been working a paid job consistently for almost 10 years. That 10 years has been split between 2 companies, 6 years at one and nearly 4 years at the other. I am a hard worker and I like to stay at a job for as long as I can given that there are opportunities to advance.

My dedication to work has caused a big issue in my life though. Work quickly became my #1 priority and I’m having a hard time shaking that mentality.

My current dilemma is that I am senior in my department and potentially up for a promotion or two. As amazing as that is, I honestly don’t know what I want to do with my life and the thought of a promotion makes me question everything. Can I handle this new set of responsibilities?

All I know right now is that it’s time for me to re-evaluate my priorities. I don’t want to look back in 10 more years and only be able to say that I worked really hard. I want to remember times with Brett and our future family. I’d really like to find a balance before having kids.

How do you manage work-life balance?

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

2020: Third Quarter Goals

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Every time when I go to write a new set of quarterly goals I am blown away by how fast time goes by. It’s already the third quarter of 2020 and I feel like the year just started. This year has not gone at all the way I pictured. 2020 started with a huge transition at work, then a global pandemic, and now another transition at work. All in all, not my favorite year.

One thing hasn’t changed though. I still love writing my quarterly goals. So without further ado, here are my goals for the third quarter of 2020.

  1. Monthly date night. As things start to open back up and return to “normal” I want to continue to prioritize time with Brett. Having a weekly date night has been great but I’m not sure if that’s as feasible with our normal schedules. Making the time at least once a month to have a date night will make our relationship so much stronger.
  2. Spend at least 30 minutes outside per day. I know this was a goal last quarter but I loved it! With the weather still being nice I want to make sure that I continue spending time outside. This has been really good for my mental health.
  3. Start meal planning again. Staying at home all the time has it’s perks but I have basically stopped meal planning. I’m able to grab what I want whenever I want since I don’t have to worry about packing a lunch for work. I want to start being more intentional with what I’m eating.
  4. Find a new outlet for my anxiety. I’ve had anxiety for a long time and I’m always looking for new ways to channel my anxiety. I’ve been feeling really anxious for the past couple of weeks and I know I need to find an outlet for this anxiety.
  5. Write down some professional goals. I feel like I talk about work a lot which is probably because I spend so much time working these days. My career is at a weird point where I’m pretty senior in my department and I have some new opportunities. I want to spend some time thinking about what my short-term and long-term career goals are and what I need to do to accomplish them.

Here’s to hoping that Q3 of 2020 is the best one yet!

Do you have any quarterly goals?

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Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

 

3 Year Work Anniversary

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3 years ago today I was a nervous wreck as I drove downtown for the first day of my current job. I sat in the parking garage for at least 20 minutes because I was so nervous and didn’t want to be late for my first day. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Prior to this job I had worked for 6 years at a restaurant. It was my very first job that I started when I was only 17 and I loved it! Saying goodbye to my co-workers was difficult and I was scared to leave my comfort zone. I thought about staying at this restaurant forever but I had worked so hard for my college degree and I wanted to do something more impactful.

I had dreamed of working in a big city doing social media marketing for a super cool company. I’d dress perfectly and have everything figured out. At 22 I had no idea what I was doing. I took a bad social media marketing class and threw the idea of marketing out the window for a job in finance. I knew nothing about the financial industry and was honestly in way over my head.

For the first few months I begged myself to make it a year in my job. I loved the company but I didn’t feel like I fit in at all. I was super depressed because it was such a cool place to work but I hated it.

So I made a change. I talked to my boss and switched roles within my department. I loved my co-workers and quickly made friends and an impact on the team. I worked my way up, covered a difficult maternity leave, and got promoted! I haven’t thought about quitting in a long time.

3 years ago I started this job that I thought would get me some good work experience. Here I am absolutely loving my job everyday and imagining staying forever. It’s funny how much things change in only 3 years!

I’m proud of how far I have come in 3 years and I know I will continue to grow within my role. My team is amazing and I have two leaders who want me to succeed. I never thought I’d enjoy a job in finance but it’s interesting, challenging, and exciting.

Here’s to many more happy years!

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Photo by Rick Tap on Unsplash