Taking Charge of My Trajectory
Shortly after Kendra’s boss sent her to Bossed Up Bootcamp, she was forced to step up as a leader at work in a new way.
I caught up with Kendra to hear more about her experience.
Investing in your own career path
Emilie: Kendra, you were lucky to have a boss who really invested in your career growth, right?
Kendra: Yes! She told me about Bossed Up Bootcamp, and I had the pleasure of attending right after I was hired full-time. It kick-started my tenure here, and meant that I walked into my new job with a clear sense of my vision and how this role fit into my long-term goals.
E: That’s great. I hear your boss left shortly thereafter and you had to step up on your own, is that correct?
K: It is! At first, I was just so busy learning the ropes and doing my job that to be honest, I didn’t think much about my own advancement and development. But then I realized that without a boss who is so focused on my growth, I need to take charge of my own trajectory.
So I started assertively asking for the things I wanted: projects I wanted to be a part of, outside learning opportunities I wanted to pursue, and challenge tasks to grow my skillset.
Leading and speaking like a boss
E: I loved running into you when we were both speaking at a college career development symposium, and I was thrilled to see you sharing your talents as a career counselor. How did you find the courage to step up in this new way?
K: Well, my colleague sent the speaking opportunity out to the counseling team and at first I actually wasn’t going to volunteer. It’s such a huge conference! I thought someone else might be better for it.
But then I thought about the name of the conference itself – Own It! – and realized this could be a great opportunity for me to step up in a way I hadn’t before. So I went for it!
I also reminded myself that I know this stuff! I help students with the job search, preparing for interviews, and weighing offers every day.I’ve also received feedback from my supervisors and colleagues that they appreciate when I show initiative. People are just waiting for you to take lead!
Take it all in
E: What are your biggest lessons for women looking to advance their careers?
K: Take in as much advice, training, and mentorship as you can. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but you don’t need to use it all right away. It will be there for you when you need it. When you’re struggling over a choice moment or looking for guidance, it’s there for you to incorporate and act on.
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