Embracing strengths, being positive among ways to help advance careers: experts
who have a creative skill set that can bring a lot of value to their role, but they believe there’s a more direct career path for someone who is analytical.
“They may try to shape themselves into that person or they might try to fit into that skill set to advance further and not tap into that skill set they have that could really propel them further.”
Associate professor David Ness is with the Student Counselling and Career Centre at the University of Manitoba, which offers services to students as well as recent alumni up to six months after graduation.
Ness, co-ordinator of career services, said one thing he consistently does with students is discuss how to create unexpected career opportunities for themselves based on the career-planning “Happenstance Theory.”
That includes encouraging them to carry and represent themselves well and to bring positive energy into the workplace, as well as to try to work with others and get as involved as possible. Ness said it’s about going beyond the job description to look for other opportunities.
“If you represent yourself well with energy, and you can connect well with people, that creates unexpected opportunities in any organization,” he said. “More people will get to know who you are, hopefully will respect the work you do and the type of person you are, and that can provide opportunities for advancement or moves into other types of responsibility.”
“ What I really encourage students to do is to not be invisible.”
For workers wanting to place themselves in a position where they’re taking on new challenges, Khamisa said there should be an ongoing conversation between employees and their bosses on the subject.
“Sometimes I’ve seen the mistake that early career individuals make is that they’re thinking about their own career development but they’re not thinking about the organization,” she said.
“ The more that you can be proactive and identify opportunities where you can develop your skill set and experiences and benefit the organization as well... that’s what’s going to be the incentive for your supervisor or manager to be on your side and help you to get some of those types of opportunities.”