Development 101: Young Professionals Edition
By Summer Brooks, CPA
As young professionals, many of us have set goals for ourselves and are looking for ways to grow both personally and professionally. The goal setting itself is easy, but the difficult part is putting the goals in motion. However, there are small steps you can take each day to help achieve your goals and build a solid foundation for growth.
Focus on One Goal at a Time
Don’t try to tackle all 15 of your goals at once. I would suggest prioritizing your goals by order of importance to you, and go down the list one by one. Once you’ve accomplished the first most important, move on to the second, and so on. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed and center your concentration so goals can be achieved.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for What You Want
Many of us feel nervous at the thought of this, fearing that we will be shunned or the answer will always be no. However, you would often be surprised by the results. I would suggest expressing your notions in a direct and concise manner and expand on how they are important to your growth. The key thing to remember here is that people are rooting for your success and want to help you. They are simply waiting for you to take the initiative to ask.
Collaborate and Use Technology to Your Advantage
Although technology can be a blessing and a curse, young professionals are fortunate to live in times where the world is essentially “at our fingertips.” With social media on the rise, explore many outlets for networking opportunities and knowledge growth. Identify networks that allow you to expand your scope and get outside your comfort zone. Explore topics and events you are interested in and take part in something that is important to you. The possibilities are endless with this one, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
Network, Network, Network
This one coincides with point #3 to a certain extent; however, it is important enough to note separately. Networking is a great way to link up with other like-minded young professionals. Who knows, you may even find someone who has similar aspirations as you and can share experiences and advice! Although networking is often seen as a nuisance, it is an integral part of personal and professional growth and can lead to very beneficial results. My advice would be to start small. Get involved with your firm’s young professionals group or your college alumni association. Attend county chamber and TSCPA events for young professionals.
In closing, I encourage you to stay optimistic and don’t get discouraged. Remember the old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” Growth doesn’t happen overnight, and some goals may take more time to achieve than others. Hopefully by incorporating these simple steps into your routine, you will be able to keep your eye on the prize and see long-term advancement.