What do you mean, plan for “the Future?”

I am at a crossroad, a place I think most 20-somethings find themselves at some point, or at several points as the case may be.

Currently, I am working for a small non-profit in York Region. While typically the problem with non-profits is there’s never enough money, my organization currently finds itself with an abundance of funding. This is wonderful, but it means that I have to make a decision about where I want my career within this organization to go and really start thinking about that elicit place called “The Future.” BOO.

I work in two different programs right now, and while it makes for a very detailed business card, at times it is a bit overwhelming. I often feel like if I’m doing one well I’m ignoring the other. This crossroad gives me the chance to choose sides, “Pick a parent” as my Executive Director puts it. The problem is I like parts of both… so which do I choose?

I have been tossing this one over in my brain for a couple weeks now, when it struck me… I should talk to the boy, you know since we’re supposed to be “in it to win it” together, maybe he would have some insight.We talked it over, and turns out it was actually helpful. So I thought I’d share the insight we came to. I broke down both positions into skills sets, and I have proposed to my ED the skills that I would like to develop in the coming year (since both positions are based on funding – the non-profit world tends not to think too much further ahead than annually).

Since I have started thinking about, thinking about starting a business in e-learning one of the things I am nervous about is my ability to sell myself, and the confidence I have in my skills and abilities. Basically, I need to build confidence around sales, and cold-calling… and stop thinking of myself as just a kid, and start thinking of myself as a well-educated Education expert, that people can’t live without. This is what I am hoping I get to work on in my new position.

I’ve been told that the most popular blogs offer tips and tricks to their readers so that reading your blog is not only entertaining (as I’ve been told I am doing through my accounts of living with the boy) but also educational, and helpful to the reader in their own life. So these are my job related tips for today, not just for those who may find themselves in a similar situation to mine, but to everyone young and old thinking about their next job, or the next steps in their current job…

1. Write down your long term goal

For me it helped when I wrote down what I want in “The Future.” I didn’t get too carried away with all the things I want for my life, but kept it to a simple career goal which were – Rule the World/Change the World.

2. Think backwards about what steps you will need to take in order to get to that point.

For me the position “Ruler of the World” isn’t often published in a paper or on Workopolis, but for you, your dream position might be. Take a look at it and see what skills they are advertising for. Are they looking for someone with a certain education background? What are you going to do to get the education you need, or the skills that they are looking for? For me, I decided that in order to change the world, or rule it, I would probably need to be an expert in my field. Since my field is going to be education, and I already have a Master’s Degree in that field, I’m feeling a little ahead of the game, but I think I need more specific education – so I’m looking into that.

3. Think about what job you might look for that would develop one or two of the skills that you need for the long-term goal position.

For me, I have decided that if I do become an expert in my field it won’t matter unless I develop the confidence to tell people how great I am, and why their business will soar with my help, and plummet without it. And I decided that talking to people I don’t know is a skill I am going to need to develop in order to do that. This is why I have told my E.D. that in which ever job I have next year, I want more contact with businesses, and more contact with people I don’t know.

4. Go out and get that position.

Now that you have thought about “The Future” when you are applying to that new position, you will likely come across as a forward thinker, someone who knows what they want and what they have to do to get there. Your interviewer will be wonderfully impressed and you’re sure to get the position that will help you on your way.

Alternately, these steps will only stress you out more as you rack your brain about “The Future” as it has for me in the last year since I finished school. So if this is the case, all I can say is take a deep breath and remember, if you’re in your twenties – you’ll look back and think “What an exciting time that was” and if you’re not in your twenties – what do I know I’m just in my twenties and still trying to figure it all out!

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