Hot damn, you’ve survived the holidays! (Okay, let’s say we’re working on recovery….) Now it’s time to take a quick look backward and a bit of a longer look forward to keep moving forward toward your career goals.
Looking back at 2012, ask yourself what went great and what went, ah, not so great. On the “what went great” list, think about the why of these successes.
What had you done that lead to a great outcome? Had you spent some time brainstorming a new idea? Reached out to someone who helped you? Read a book or magazine article or blog post that sparked a creative solution to a problem? Analyzed a company process until you found a more streamlined approached? Built a rapport with a company client that caused them to spend more money with the company?
Pay attention to the things that you did before that moment of success, then find ways to ramp up those activities even more in 2013. You’ll be building not only greater success for your company, but also a higher level of professional performance – which is one of the best long-term career investments you can make.
Next, check out any failures you had in 2012, the more spectacular, the better. The good news about looking at the “what went not so great” side is that this is where you can really learn and grow. The often-repeated quote that we learn more from failure than from success is true – your job is to look beyond that cringe-worthy moment(s), step back from the emotions involved, and clearly assess what you could have done differently to possibly produce a different outcome.
Could you have spent more time preparing? Could you have vetted your assumptions with a senior colleague? Could you have done more research about a potential customer, vendor, or partner? Could you have used better people skills to manage a difficult staff situation? Would your presentation have been more compelling if you’d had better knowledge of the presentation software? Would your budget have had a better chance of being approved if you’d been more effectively able to use an Excel spreadsheet to more effectively lay out your department finances?
Yep, giving yourself a debrief on all the things that didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped in 2012 can be a bit of a downer, but only if you don’t recognize how valuable this information is for you in terms of creating your 2013 career agenda. By taking responsibility for what went wrong, you also have the opportunity to change the outcome next time by improving what you need to improve and learning what you need to learn.
And if you didn’t have any failures in 2012? Then your career goal for 2013 is to push yourself out of your comfort zone and start taking on new challenges. To quote automotive industry pioneer Henry Ford, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Here’s to a 2013 filled with lessons learned, challenges embraced, and new opportunities to grow.
About the Author:
Acclaimed Career Coach, Kim Dority is a frequent presenter for Bryant & Stratton College Online. Dority is an information specialist, consultant, career coach, published author and adjunct professor at the University of Denver in Colorado. She has written extensively on career development for students and new graduates and is a frequent presenter, lecturer and panelist on career-related topics. Kim’s areas of expertise include professional branding, career transitions and career sustainability.
One of the first steps to increasing your own personal financial situation is increasing your marketability! If you work for a large company chances are your employer will cover some if not all of your tuition expenses. That is if your degree or certificate program relates to your current position. Having an employer pay for your tuition benefits you in several ways:
REMEMBER: Your employer will most likely expect you to commit to a short contract requiring that you maintain a certain GPA. Other clauses might include that you must stay employed for “x” years after completing your degree otherwise you may be required to pay some if not all of the tuition bill back, and your employer might require you to pay the tuition upfront reimbursing you back after you complete the course.
Tuition assistance benefits are part of your compensation package. Make a list of your educational goals and what you want to gain from accomplishing each goal; decide whether utilizing your company’s tuition plan is the right choice for you.
So what if your company does not offer a tuition assistance plan to employees? Is it hopeless that you could change the policy? In an answer, no! Start thinking about how receiving an education could help you improve or change your current work environment for the better. Perhaps communication channels could be improved. Could you verbalize to your employer how a degree could enhance and benefit the organization?
You are your own best advocate! Be ready to defend why your employer should invest in you! Make it happen! Self improvement is in your hands. How will you make a difference in your future?
Contact Bryant & Stratton College’s admissions department to discuss the many certificate, associate, and bachelor’s programs that are offered.
About the Author
Rebecca Lauterbach, MBA is an adjunct professor for the on-line campus teaching business and office technology courses. For the past 12 years Rebecca has also worked professionally for a major communications company. Rebecca is currently completing her D.B.A. online.
As a Math major, I spent eight years of training at a University where I learned all the intricacies of how Mathematics works. Throughout that time, I had the same question many of you currently have i.e., how does math fit into my career?
Two weeks after I graduated, I started working for a large insurance company just north of San Francisco, California. I spent almost 17 years working for that same company. Six of those years were in a field called Management Information Systems, and I spent almost 11 years in business management and business development for the same company. During those years, I spent considerable time using all the math skills I built up in my university training. What I found is that there are three specific areas that you will continue to use the math skills you learn in college:
When you think about the skills that you learn in your math classes i.e., Analysis, Problem Solving and Logic, each of those are easily applied to investments, financing, business, the medical industry and any field that requires these skill sets. So, the next time you’re in a math class at Bryant & Stratton College, remember, you’re not just working on skills to get you through a class, but rather you are building skills to make you successful in your career.
About the Author:
Hector Valenzuela, M.A. is a Math Faculty member at Bryant & Stratton College – Online. In addition to his work in the field of applied Mathematics, he also spent 17 years in application areas of: Management Information Systems, Business Finance and Business Development