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Chronicles of a Graduate: Working my Way Up?

By Patty Marra, Series Guest Blogger

This week was a good week in my book.  I made it to the gym a few times, I slept, and I got a mini promotion.  Not too shabby for less than 7 days’ work.

So, why a mini promotion?  Background: I’m working part-time, which, for all of you grads out there looking for a job, can be a great way to segue into a company.  Heck, for all of you people out there looking for a job, part-time can be a good option.  For one, working some hours is better than working zero hours.  Secondly, you’re in a company making connections.  It may be underemployment, but it can be a great way to get up from the inside.  Anyway, I consider an increase in hours, inching toward full-time status, a promotion.  However, it’s not a full promotion in the sense of a new job title.  Therefore, mini-promotion.

So while I was excited to get a bump in hours, I was a little uneasy.  Up until this point, I hadn’t had the opportunity to tell my boss about my career goals.  This was partially my fault—I felt nervous admitting that the position I am currently working isn’t anywhere near where I want to end up professionally.  For some reason, I viewed it as breaching a commitment to the company.

I knew that my goals were a conversation topic that I would have to introduce sooner rather than later.  It’s hard for others to help you when they don’t know what kind of help you are looking for.  But as a young professional without much direction or experience, I didn’t really know how to start the conversation without seeming ungrateful for my current position.  I didn’t want it to come off as “this works for now, but I’ll have you know that what I REALLY want is to be a corporate trainer.  So there.”  In a sense, I think I was also afraid of insulting someone in the process by making it seem like the department wasn’t worth staying in.

Taking Ownership of my Career Destiny

Then I started thinking about all of the comments I have heard from readers, such as yourselves, friends, family, teachers…and remembered all of the discussions about how now, the professional environment is a place of movement.  Over the course of my lifetime, I will probably hold more jobs than my parents have.  To continue to be a competitive candidate, I need to sharpen my skills, but I also need to let people know that I am a candidate.

So, first I mentioned in a meeting that I’m working toward a certification in Instructional Design.  Then my supervisor followed up with me on it.  I definitely lucked out on that one, because I know that if my supervisor wasn’t so in-tune, that first attempt would have been meaningless. 

Help ME!?

What is a better way to start that conversation?  How do you make your supervisor aware of where you see yourself going?

About the Author

Patty MarraPatty Marra is a freshly graduated alumna of Marquette University, who is working on answering the question, “…what next?”  She is navigating the ever-evolving hiring maze of today’s business environment, and sharing the pieces of knowledge she learns along the way.  She loves social media, but appreciates a good face-to-face conversation.  Long-term, she is looking to establish a career in marketing project management, and help everyone she can along the way.  You can get in touch with her by email, or you can find more of her thoughts via her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Does this sound familiar? Are you in the same situation?  Have you been here before -- what's your advice for Patty? Please comment below.

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