Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why I started seeking career advice and Where I finally found it....

I started seeking career advice when during my first job out of college I realized that nothing about my university studies had prepared me for the life in an office and more importantly office politics. I mean, it always seemed pretty simple- “Work hard and rewards will follow, right?” WRONG!  I mean I’m a First Generation Latina- the graduation rates for people like me are pretty dismal so it’s quite an accomplishment to obtain a degree. Thus I’m not sure we have figured out what we are supposed to do when we obtain the magical college degree everyone kept telling us to earn.  Plus we don’t have our mothers, fathers and uncles and their networks available to recommend us for internships, jobs and fellowships so we have to fend for ourselves.  Nevertheless, when I graduated I was full of hopes and dreams and wide eyed naiveté about what awaited me in the professional world.

I very quickly found out that writing an office memo wasn’t the same as writing a 10 page research paper the night before it was due. Thank goodness for the kindness of my first boss who taught me how to write a memo, and was patient enough to tell me things another person wouldn’t have bothered to tell me.  From her I learned about the value of having a mentor and the importance of being a mentor to others. 

After about one year into the real world I ventured into my next job which is where I was faced with the cold reality of office politics. I quickly found myself wondering why my colleagues weren’t eager to help me or willing to share credit for projects… I turned to the internet and to my local bookstore to find answers to my problem. What I found was that many people feel unprepared for the working world, and that my values about work and life were shared by many of my cohorts.

My Favorite Places for Career Advice:

The expert on the Millennial Generation is none other than Penelope Trunk. After finding Penelope I knew that I wasn’t alone and that I was fascinated by what makes a person successful at work.  It was also the first time I allowed myself to think that maybe climbing the ladder wasn’t what I would want to do with my life.

I always turn to Penelope Trunk's Blog' Brazen Careerist . Sometimes when I’m having a particularly rough day I re-read some posts that I have found helpful in the past. She is so honest and "brazen" in her advice. In fact, her blogs have provided solace for me in my career journey...It was also through her that I discovered the Quarter-Life Crisis.  If you don’t know what the "Quarter- Life Crisis is, check out the link as you may find that you are suffering from this mysterious condition that comes when you realize that a) you won’t be rich and famous by 25 and b) that the "perfect" job, haircut, relationship etc. may not bring you the satisfaction you thought it would. At 28 I think im currently in the middle of Quarter-Life Crisis Part IV!

I also like to check out the BNET-Life at Work Section it has cool advice and also posts from people who are doing very innovative things when it comes to helping employees achieve the elusive-work-life balance.

My intention is to cross post interesting articles and share my own tidbits of knowledge. Stay Tuned…  

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