Title Card - What's Next?

“What’s Next?”

After you have graduated from school, it’s clear what follows. You would want to get a job in your field, and hopefully with a company you would be happy to work and grow with. Then, it happens! Congratulations, you’ve made it into your field, and you’re on your way to a successful career! But your journey isn’t complete, it has only just begun. The question you should be asking now is, what comes after this? Where do I go from here?

Unless you are really exceptional, the position you just gained will likely be fairly basic and entry-level. They would expect for you to have some skills coming out of school and would fill you in on the rest as part of their training program. This is one of the advantages that you have coming into an entry-level position, as you get the opportunity to learn on the job. You don’t stop learning just because you’re out of school, both life and the workplace give you opportunities to continue to learn no matter what stage of life you’re in.

In my case, I was fresh out of school and just started doing some volunteer work to gain experience to become a copywriter. My current employer saw my application and decided to give me a chance as a web content writer. In this type of position, one would perform many of the duties of a copywriter in the writing sense, and is a very good beginning to understanding the basics of the industry.

Although being a content writer is not the full set of duties as a copywriter, there are other roles in my company that fill some of the other responsibilities. For me, I would look to some of these other roles for inspiration on how to continue to build my skills as a copywriter while continuing to build my skills as a writer in my existing job. In this way, despite not being in my final desired position yet, I could still gain the skills I would need to continue to build towards my goal and move up either within my company, or somewhere that can offer what I’m looking for.

I recognize that this is very specific to my own career path, but the basic principles also apply to most others. Many times, when you start an entry-level position, there are other people around you that you can learn from that can help you move towards the next step in your career. Coworkers can be a very good way to learn and grow, especially when they are already occupying the position that you are looking to move into.

The main idea is that you are looking to gain the skills you need to fill some of the senior roles. Yes, it’s great that you managed to get into your field, but you should always be looking to grow and add more skills to your resume. Look at some of the places you’re aspiring to go. What are they asking for? What are you missing? These should be the things you should be focused on trying to acquire while working in your current job. Take on new challenges and projects, find ways that you can make yourself more marketable. Learn, grow, and take advantage of the fact that you have talent all around you that can help you.

The more drive you show, the more likely it will be that someone is going to be willing to help you. People love teaching people and showing off what they know, and if you gain a rapport with your counterpart, they could even be an excellent reference in the future.

So, how do you answer the question of “what’s next”? You should always be looking for ways that you can scale up your career. After school, you were looking for anyone who would give you an opportunity. Now that you have one, seize it and never stop growing. Learn more, grow more, and be more.

You will be amazed at how fast your skills, and your resume, will grow.