Episode #24: The Secret to My Career Success

Episode #24: The Secret to My Career Success

With the benefit of many years of hindsight, I can now see that there’s been one clear secret behind my professional success.

The secret is a simple concept.

I’ll share the secret with you, by telling you the story of my career path.

I graduated from college with a film degree. I was very driven.

I had a dream of becoming a video producer. I wanted to learn the craft from established professionals. So, I applied for an administrative assistant job at a small, but well-established, advertising agency.

I showed up as the smart and industrious young woman I was, and I won that job.

I provided administrative support to an incredible team of directors, writers, and executive producers. I was focused on becoming an official member of the video production department. I saw different ways that I could contribute beyond my job description.

I asked for additional responsibility, and I was given it.

One of the executive producers that took me under their wing was leading a new infomercial series. I was truly excited by the concept. I wanted to help make it come to life, and I wanted to become a real member of the production team.

I thought new ways that I could contribute to the team.

I proposed the ideas to my boss, and I asked to do those things.

He agreed. I became a member of that team.

Over time, I became a video producer. I loved it, and I became one of our company’s best.

But, it was the early 2000s. Suddenly, this little thing called the internet started to blow up. Our company jumped into the digital space. I saw that the digital business was quickly growing, and I didn’t know a damn thing about it. I decided I needed to know something about it.

I put together a proposal for my boss.

I wanted to learn the digital space by shadowing a digital project manager. She said yes. I became a digital project manager.

I noticed that there was a handful of junior talent that didn’t have a career direction, didn’t have a job description, and certainly didn’t have a manager who was looking out for them.

I believed the company could benefit by focusing this group of people into becoming a team of associate project managers.

I put together a proposal.

I went to my boss. I presented the benefits to the company and proposed that I would lead the team. She agreed. And then I led the team.

As I gained responsibility in the digital space, an exciting position for a Director of Project Management position leading the production for our biggest client opened up. There was a guy who worked on the account who was a clear front-runner for the job. I didn’t let that stop me.

I went to my boss, and I threw my hat in the ring.

I interviewed, and I got the job.

By this point in my career, my passion for project management and helping others build their careers was well known and established. I worked for a boss who understood my value and coached me to continue to build my leadership skills.

Then a thing happened that rocked my department to the core. My boss gave notice.

I thought, “Am I going to wait for a new boss to be hired, or am I going to become that person?”

I had big ideas about where this department could go and how we could continue to improve our practice.

I put together my ideas in a business plan. I sat down with the CEO, and I asked for that job.

I got it.

I could keep going. But, by now, I hope you are getting the point.

Every new responsibility or challenge that I have taken on in my career, I have asked for.

Don’t just sit there and wonder when others are going to notice you.

Ask for it.

Don’t trust that anyone else is going to connect the dots on your behalf.

Ask for it.

Don’t wait for another year to pass before you think you are ready.

Ask for it.

Ask for it.

Ask for it.

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