CCG Foundations 04: Career Lessons

Welcome to our fourth episode of Classy Career Foundations, our mini-series on the podcast. We went way back to what it means to be a Classy Career Girl, what career fulfillment looks like, and how Classy Career Girl started. If you haven’t listened to those first three episodes, please do!

In today’s episode, I am giving you some career lessons! Today, women are empowered. There are so many incredible opportunities for women right now. Women can have incredible careers and be working mothers and impact the world. There is nothing stopping us.

Except knowing the right direction and the ability to stop and self-assess. I believe women are overworked and burning out because they are not stopping before diving in and doing. There is way too much doing and not enough thought going into the careers we are picking, the personal brands we are creating, and the directions we are heading. 

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There is no step-by-step guidebook for women to help us in the working world after we graduate college. How do you deal with difficult people? How do you ask for a raise? What should you wear to work? How do I deal with a difficult co-worker? What should I post on social media?

You graduate with a degree you may or may not like and are off to a career. You might not be able to find a job after graduation and have to settle for a job you aren’t excited about. Or maybe you are one of the lucky ones who actually gets a job out of school only to figure out you hate it and then you get stuck in a rut.  It’s leading to burnout, stress and overworked and stressed out women and moms.

Knowing Yourself Matters

With the female empowerment movement, there is a need to know ourselves so much better and find out what will make us truly happy. All of us are designed for a purpose and have a calling, but will we find it? If we aren’t happy and dread going to work, what type of example are we setting for our kids about living a fulfilling life?

And with the growth of the digital world and the ability to use social media to grow a career, it might seem like so many women are having so much success online! It’s easy to see what everyone else is doing and try to model that. It’s easy to pick a network marketing company and start selling your heart out to your friends on Instagram stories.

But, that ultimately might not make you happy or successful. Modeling others can be trouble because the people you see online might not actually be successful or happy with what they are doing.

You Aren’t Other People

Also, your values may be different from the people you might be modeling online. Balance for me is different from you, because we value different things and are motivated differently. We also have different skills, strengths, and interests which is why there is really big need for self-assessment right now to become 100% you and make plans and goals that are based off where you want to go.

Stepping back to determine the ideal career fit for me was how I found my dream career. Universities and career programs are not prepared to handle the new careers that are available or the new ways to job search or find a career. They are teaching outdated methods if they are teaching anything at all.

There are so many coaches and influencers influencing online, so this is about stepping back and finding the true you.

What truly is important to you and where do you want to end up? That is going to make you happy, because no one else can do that for you.

How Do You Want to be Seen?

It’s busy these days and I know what it’s like feel like life is passing you by and you aren’t where you want to be. You feel stuck and don’t know what step to take. Now, more than ever, it’s also important to evaluate where you stand and how you want to be seen online and offline.

Just because other people are posting about things online, doesn’t mean you have to. It’s about identifying and creating your own personal brand and rising above the noise to be who you truly are. That is how you will stand out and find your dream career.

Your Education is In Your Hands

We also live in a time where education is in your hands. You can create your own educational program with all the articles, courses and opportunities you have available to you right now. I have an MBA, but most of what I know running and growing a business is all self-taught. My MBA got me started, but my education didn’t end the day I graduated. I did internships, volunteered, did informational interviews, read books and interviewed over 50 authors and experts on my way to my dream career.

When I started as a career coach, I didn’t have the experience, but I made my own growth plan to identify what I needed to know. I checked out every single book about job searching at my local library and read all of them. Then I blogged about them.

Then I interviewed the authors and wrote what I was learning about them on the blog. Soon, I became the expert. Once you figure out what you love and enjoy and where you see yourself in the future, you can get the knowledge and experience you need to make it happen.

There is no career that is impossible for you.

What You Wear Matters

When I graduated from college, I was clueless about what to wear to my first interview. I vowed to create the space to help women present their best selves in the future and have always had a dream to simplify the work wardrobe to avoid the embarrassment that I had on that first interview. I was so uncomfortable and HOT wearing nylon socks, uncomfortable heels, and a tight black suit only to show up and realize that no one else was dressed like me.

Not only that but I had a hard time being myself in the interview because I was not dressed like myself. This is the guidebook that I wish I had when I graduated from college and got into the working world so I knew what to wear.

Building a Personal Brand

Now more than ever, first impressions count. How you show up online and offline matters. You can quickly ruin your reputation with one post, one Instagram story, and one video. Have you ever unfollowed a friend for something they posted? I have.

But I have also made the same mistake. I was also clueless when it comes to building up my personal brand to start selling my products. I made the mistake of posting on Facebook to tell my friends to follow my blog and my products. Problem was, my friends and family weren’t interested and it now became spam to them.

They never signed up to hear my sales pitch because they weren’t my ideal clients.  It took me time to figure out how to use my personal brand in a way that successfully grew my business and reputation leading to be featured on the Wall Street Journal and People Stylewatch magazine.

Put Yourself Out There

I also learned that I had to show up myself and put myself out there. I had always dreamed of being in San Diego magazine’s woman of the year. Like years and years, it was on my vision board as I dreamed of the woman I needed to become to make the list. In 2016, I said this was the year. I’m making it happen. I asked my husband and COO of our company to nominate me. I made the list.

I could have just thought about it for years and years and waited for some magical person to nominate me. Or I could have done something about it and asked for help so it actually happens. Our dreams can happen but we have to be open to them and ask for help.

To reach the success that you want, you have to be prepared and you need a mentor. Learning from others and investing in myself has turned my hobby blog into a real business.

Where I Am Today

For the past 10 years, I have turned a hobby blog into an international online training company serving thousands of women by giving them crystal clear content that makes taking action and finding career fulfillment easy. My dream is to create a school called The School of Fulfillment to help us reach our mission of helping all women find career fulfillment.

Today, women need a cheerleader and that’s who we are at Classy Career Girl. We believe in you and support you in reaching your dreams. Our mission is career fulfillment for all women and this guide will walk women through the process to become who they are meant to be and uncover what truly makes them happy inside and out.

Women need to support each other. When I graduated college I worked at a big consulting firm. I was shy and quiet and barely spoke but I was really good at my job. I was the one who was always trying to be perfect and it was really stressful. I could do no wrong. It was during that first year that one of my first female clients tried to fire me. Why? Who knows! She had absolutely no good reason except she just didn’t like me.

I was doing the job of four people (who had all quit because of her) and never did anything to earn her lack of support, but she told my boss she wanted me gone. I could have yelled at her and made a fool of myself for her being a major brat. But instead, I put a smile on my face and showed up with class and grace. My boss didn’t fire me. He knew I had done nothing to earn her lack of respect. He knew I was good at my job. And I had to rise above.

We Lift Each Other Up

I think this is why I am so in the fire to support other women. I have no patience for women who don’t support other women. We worked in a male-dominated environment and we were the only two women left on our team. We needed to rally together.

You and I need to rally together. We need to help other women who need it, we need to be each other’s cheerleaders. Last week I just attended a mastermind day with a friend and we both helped each other with our businesses for an entire day. We both left with a much better-focused way forward with each other’s support than trying to do it by yourself.

You might feel like other women can’t help you. They can. And you can help others. That’s what being a Classy Career Girl is. Lifting others. Supporting them and knowing your values and ethics and treating others with respect no matter what.

These days with our social media and digital life, these lessons are crucial.  

To summarize, here are the career lessons I have learned.

Career Lessons

  1. Stop and self-assess.
  2. Find your purpose. No one else can do that for you.
  3. Do it your way. Put the blinders on.
  4. Create your personal brand. Rise above the noise.
  5. Your education is in your hands. Take advantage of it.
  6. Create your own opportunities. Create your future.
  7. Simplify your wardrobe. Create your own signature style.
  8. Create a beautiful workspace that makes going to work inspiring.
  9. Find a mentor and take action with everything they say.
  10. Be honest. Keep your ethics and values and support other women.

Did this week’s podcast help you? I would love to hear your thoughts on Instagram! 

Anna Runyan

Anna Runyan

Anna is the founder of Classy Career Girl, named by Forbes as one of the top 35 most influential career sites of 2014. She helps millions of women design and launch their dream careers, businesses and lives through her website, online courses and social media channels.

Anna Runyan

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