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How to Build a Career On Purpose

what do you want to do next?

You don't just have a career; instead you build it- just like blocks... one experience at a time or nowadays- it could be a variety of experience happening all at once that are helping you build your career.

When people ask me what I do, I simply say, "I am a career coach and I run my own business."

Many people respond, 'Oh, wow. That's interesting.' Half of the time, though, I don't think people know what that means exactly. And so I proceed to explain that I serve as a guide in best practices on all things career- related: recruiting, career pivots, career development of leaders and more.

So, for instance, prior to having my own firm, my career was in Human Resources. I didn't just 'have' this career; instead I made deliberate choices along the way to get involved, be visible, learn and challenge myself. I always strived for more than my 'job title'. For instance, I volunteered for special committees, assignments, etc. that were not within my job scope often. So, I built a career in HR as was evidenced by my career progression from HR Analyst, to HR Associate, to Senior HR Associate, to HR Manager to HR Consultant to Business Owner. My career in HR was one of my foundational building block experiences that enable me to do what I do now (and love by the way) as a Career Coach. Without those experiences, however, I would not be able to properly advise my career clients nor be an effective coach.

I didn't just 'happen' upon this career path; instead, I built it.

So, how do you intentionally 'build' a career?

Well, a few things come to mind:

  1. Exposure. Be intentional about who you work with and how you work.

  2. Volunteer. Volunteer for the assignments no one wants.

  3. Mentor. Find a mentor and be a mentor.

  4. Get uncomfortable. Don't be afraid to try new things within your workplace or externally.

  5. Join external organizations. Find associations in your area of practice and join and I mean really join; get involved; join a committee; vie for a leadership position.

  6. Run toward the challenges. It is through the stretch assignments that we gain insight into our talents- what we want to continue doing and what we do not.

  7. Share your knowledge. On LinkedIn, in a company newsletter, on a podcast, on a panel- so many ways to showcase your knowledge.

  8. Keep learning. Never stop learning. So much content is available at our fingertips today that there is little to no excuse NOT to keep learning.

Sure, a bit of luck can play into some career decisions; but being intentional about your career building experiences will yield far better results than leaving it to happenstance.

Looking to level up your career and build your own personal career development strategy?

Happy to chat. Schedule your complimentary career development strategy session here now.

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