What? There’s more to it than work?

August 1, 2009

All through high school, college, university, TAFE, those early years, extra curricular activities are so important.  Well aren’t they?  Why else would your parents make you go in a state mathematics competition?  Or force you to go to your tuba lessons?  Short answer is yes, we deep down know this stuff if important in making us well rounded people.  Employers love this kind of thing.  My question today is what happens once you’ve started in your first full time role as a young professional?

Now that you’ve moved into an entry level position, there is a high chance there will be a lot of appraisal/feedback/reporting sessions with and on you.  These normally consider things such as how you deal with clients, how well you worked with your team or the number of sales you made.  And these reports are probably the majority of the basis of any promotions, pay rises or new opportunity offers.  Something that I find lacking in these completely in-house methods is they don’t consider anything that you do outside of the work place.

So how can you as a young professional address this?

  • Let your boss know these extra activities.  Tell them about some of the challenges you’ve faced outside of work and how you overcame them.
  • You may have had to create a new club constitution or help run a performance.  Regardless of what you do, skills are transferable.  When asked “How did you know how to do that?”, don’t be afraid to reply “I did something similar with my church group last summer.”
  • You may even invite them along.  Community events are another excellent way to network.

The progession of your career as a young professional shouldn’t mean you have to give up things outside of work.  In fact, use these outside skills to your advantage.  You never know when your boss will need that last minute performance at the Christmas party.

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