I’ve learned a lot after high school. Not textbook material, but rather soft skills that is needed to be successful in society. The main incubator for this development was surprisingly in the office. Before I continue, I’d like to clarify. If you’ve been keeping on with my posts, it’s obvious that I’m an advocate in “do-you-boo-boo” motto. With that being said, it’s also important to be appreciative of your current situation and learn more than just the obvious. Learning soft skills and developing your adaptability is equally important as the work experience.
Climbing the corporate ladder is a common goal amongst coworkers. It’s an unspoken (sometime spoken) competition. I was not exempt from that mindset. At one point, my goals were geared towards getting to the next level. This mindset shifted after pumping the breaks after being denied 3 times (for 3 different positions). The journey to that point was emotional and equally confusing to say the least. The skills, determination and grit were all with me but yet not the opportunity.
After the tears dried and the self doubt subsided, it was time to reevaluate. Why was I giving my power to someone else? Why did I allow another person to define my value? It was time to take back the power and move forward.
Maybe it’s just not part of my plan.
Gravitating towards a managerial roll felt natural. But why? Why would anyone want to be at the beck and call of others? Be real – when in a manager seat not only do you adhere to upper management in meeting the numbers. But you also have the responsibility in coaching and developing the next “generation.” Wow. But why did I want it so badly? It echoed though my mind with no answer for months. Then it hit me! There were just 2 things that answered my “why” – 1) the possibility to create an environment where people can thrive and be inspired individuals and 2) the opportunity to create a self regulating system.
Answering my “why” (the real why) was the start of my new journey. It was time to surrender and stop trying to fit into someone else’s mold. Living by someone else’s rules and validation is not what life is about. Life is about being a unique individual and following your life’s purpose.
So it began – what skills can my current position provide me for the journey? I started to “pack my bags” and strengthen the most important skills. Obtaining payroll and HR knowledge is important, but limiting. (For 6 years, I worked for a Professional Employer Org (PEO) where we partnered with other companies to handled the administrative task of running a business (payroll, benefits, HR administration, etc).
The 3 skills I packed in my exit suitcase were: 1) networking skills – aside from the obvious this provides the opportunity to fine tune your listening and speaking skills. Hearing other people’s perspective (even if what they’re saying does not interest you) will broaden your view of things. 2) excel skills – it doesn’t make sense to focus on becoming an expert on a Human Resource Management System because not all companies use it. One tool is certain, Microsoft Excel. This is a consistent tool and can be applied in any industry. 3) adaptability. This was the hardest skill to get comfortable with, but it’s the most necessary. When things don’t go your way, you have to adapt and stay solution focused. I realized that I needed to work on this skill when I felt a strong emotion of not getting the position I thought I wanted.
After my bags were packed, it was time to leave. The underlying reason for my departure was to fulfill my why by using the skills I dubbed as important. Hence, my career path is to become an entrepreneur. I’ll be able to create an environment that has a strong value of my beliefs. These skills can be applied in creative ways that will allow me to unlock my full potential.