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What has been most rewarding about the professional path you have taken?

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11 answers

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Carole’s Answer

Hi Madeline; I believe that every job was helpful in showing me what I like about a certain job and what I don't like and the fact that I went to two colleges one, Community college and other state college . The experience with two colleges was helpful for not only educational, but social; and state college actually change my major for me after I graduated with English and Education B.A degree After that I decided I didn't want to teach. After I worked for awhile I read an article on how to choose a career with this seminar at UCLA. So I registered for this seminar and my eyes were open to what they call Personality Assessment and Interest Assessment.This Seminar was my turning point to research the Career Counseling area. So I called my state college and asked about this career; it was new and possible career choice because I had not heard of it, but I liked the idea of it and the assessments suggested this particular career for me. I had an interview with a professor and he accepted me. When I finished all of my classes for this certification and my first job was in a high school Career Center. I love it! They have changed some of the rules now, and I believe you must have a Masters. I had a lot of different jobs with this certification and was able to also own my small business. I was so happy with this career and some of the skills I used such as; counselor, working as Personnel Manager; Guidance Counselor; speaker at Workshops for Employment Offices; Case Manager for unemployed people and others. If you like people this is a great career. I hope you will follow some options I will suggest for you to find your career path and really enjoy your career.

Carole recommends the following next steps:

Look at your college for a career center with a career counselor
Take an Interest Assessment The SDS (Self Directed test is one you can do on your own!
Also a personality Test like Meyer Briggs. This has to be sent and scored. There are also others that you can researchAfter you do these two
After you take these two assessments, please talk with a Career Counselor
A good book if you haven't read it is"What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles

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Mark’s Answer

Great question, Madeline. For me the answer is simple. The greatest gratification I received from my job was the ability to help people. I was able to solve their problems, give advice and as corny as it sounds, I liked helping people. I was a police officer and crisis negotiator. At some of their worst moments, I was required to help someone who was so distressed they wanted to hurt themselves or someone else. But as a police officer there were so many simple situations where helping someone gave me great satisfaction! I remember a story where at 4:30 a.m. one night, a couple locked their keys in their running car and they were close to missing their flight to take a cruise for their 25th wedding anniversary. Luckily I was able to use a tool, get them into the vehicle and I received a letter from them a week later thanking me for "rescuing their anniversary trip from misery!" That was a simple example but it put a smile on my face.
Pick a career that will gratify you! Pick a career that will make you happy and at the end of my career I can always say, "I really liked my job! I liked to go to work every day." It wasn't always rainbows and unicorns, but it really was gratifying.

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Alli’s Answer

Hi Julia!

I am a Field Marketing Manager at a software company but before that I was in Customer Success, PR, Sales and Marketing. The most rewarding part about the professional path I have taken is that I have seen the full scope of what it looks like to be in different roles in a company. A Customer Success Manager has different goals, objectives and outlook on the company's needs than a Field Marketing Manager or Sales person does so being able to have a part in different areas of the company has been really insightful and has helped me understand my co-workers on a cross functional level more efficiently.

Looking back, I would give the advice to try different roles and when unique opportunities come by, make sure to take them!! I make sure to always push myself outside of my comfort zone and that has proven to be more beneficial than not. You learn a lot about yourself once you are not in your normal environment.

Here are my nuggets of advice for finding a rewarding career path:

  • Take opportunities that come your way but also create opportunities for yourself by volunteering for every and any projects that need an owner.
  • Find your passion. No one talks about how hard it is to find a career that you are passionate about but if you try different avenues of work and see what peaks your interest the most!
  • Find a mentor/role model that you look up to and can seek advice from. When people used to tell me to look for a mentor, I would think that I formally needed to ask someone to be my mentor and ask them formal questions but that is a myth! Your teacher, parents, friends, etc. can be your mentors in different areas of your life and they will give you guidance and support when you need it most.
  • Never doubt yourself, EVER! You are just as capable if not more than the next person. GO FOR IT!
  • Network, Network, Network
  • Build genuine relationships with your co-workers.
  • Showing up is the most important part.
  • Lastly, remember we are all humans and are more similar to each other than we realize. No one is better than you are or less than.

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Lauren’s Answer

I have bounced around so much in my career, and I wouldn't change much. Each time I take on a new role, I get to see the corporate world from a different perspective and connect the dots together with lessons I learned in previous roles. The most rewarding thing is stepping into a new role or project and knowing nothing, then getting to a point where I'm like, "oh, I can do this. I know how this works." It's a confidence builder for sure :)

Rather than climbing the corporate ladder, I've worked to find personal satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment and contentment, and that's what leads me in certain directions for my career. An old boss advised me to think about what parts of my day make me the most happy and then optimize for that. That's led me to interesting directions, and to the idea that a "career" isn't this linear path, and it's ok to change your mind and be flexible with where life takes you.

As an example, I have degrees in English Lit and Art. But I now work in technology, because it's very fast moving and it's more casual than other, more established industries. I like being able to wear jeans to work and swear if I want to! I started working in tech support but felt it was too reactive, and now i oversee a bunch of systems and trainings as the technical person on a less technical team. And that may change again eventually, and that's ok!

Good luck :)

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Sara’s Answer

The professional path I have taken hasn't been linear. I studied philosophy as an undergraduate, began my career in project management at boutique pharmaceutical and motor vehicle advertising agencies, continued on as a project manager for an IT company, and have since moved to my current role as a customer success manager for a cloud software company that produces identity and access management products.

Deviating from a structured career path and performing different roles across different industries offered me opportunities to:

  • Learn standard professional skills under a variety of conditions (different managerial styles, corporate cultures, final product expectations, software platforms)
  • Learn how to adjust my communication style to be best received and best collaborate with different teams, team members, clients, and executives in service of problem-solving and meeting business objectives
  • Translate skills from one industry to another
  • Identify where I have gaps in my training or proficiency
  • Gain confidence in my ability to be flexible, resilient, receive feedback, and learn quickly

Had I been set on a final goal or career at an earlier point in time, I might not have been open to workplaces and experiences that placed me in scenarios that I had not yet encountered. I have accumulated a set of skills that I can now put to work with greater self assurance. And in my current role, those skills are in service of providing value to our customers and to my teammates internally. I could not be happier with the job I perform now and the opportunities ahead of me at my workplace. To date, that is the ultimate reward of my professional path.

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Truc’s Answer

For me, the most rewarding thing about all the professional jobs that I have is all the translating skills that I have from one job to another that leads me to the final career that 1) fits all of my skills 2) aligns with my personal values and brings me satisfaction from helping others.

I was majoring in Marketing during my college years. I took 2 Marketing internships at 2 different companies, but then realized that Marketing was not for me. I took all the skills I learned from Marketing (building Powerpoint, looking at data) and applied for an Office Manager job right out of college - just because I want to try a different path of Operations as I want to try to work in a field with people interaction and improving the process efficiency. In that job, I used Powerpoint as a way of communication for my ideas, and organized different events for the companies. I used my data analysis skill to figure out how much snacks should be ordered for the month to reduce waste. After a year of working as Office Manager, I know what I want to focus more on - and that is team coordination. I applied to be a Junior Administrative Assistant because this gives me exposure to many other teams and how each team work together. I used my event organizing skill from the Office Manger job, and my organizational mind to support multiple VPs. Those experiences are very rewarding to me, because I can both use what I have learned from previous job, and learn new skills to get further in my career. The more I go, the more I figure what my true path is. All you have to do is take risks and learn from the job of what you like / don't like. Hope this helps! :)

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Ulu’s Answer

The most rewarding thing about my career path and where I am at right now, has got to be the people! I have had numerous opportunities to develop and mentor people and teams and being able to do that everyday is so rewarding and satisfying. It has also continually helped me build my confidence in myself to continue to want to grow and develop.

I am fortunate that my company provides so many amazing training opportunities that support my learning and growth. I have received numerous certifications that has really helped me strengthen my skills. From communication to leading teams, creating training content and understanding networking. I have learned so much and been given much opportunities to develop myself. I have taken those opportunities to build and mentor my peers and everyone I come in contact with as I certify them to be better leaders, trainers and employees.

I feel empowered each day that I get up and start working. I have the freedom to lead myself and my team how I want and in ways that are specific to us. I feel trusted by my leadership team and supported. They provide me with additional opportunities for growth and advancement and that makes a huge difference!

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Audra’s Answer

Taking the risk to move in a different direction that I was previously in for over 20 years. Going from call center, quality assurance, training to computers was a big step and worth the risk I took to just keep learning and moving forward. This opportunity not only provided me knowledge in different areas but also the opportunity to move to a different state and help open a call center. This was from the ground up literally. I experienced cleaning the empty building to painting and building desks, hiring and this also moved me from call center rep to training and quality assurance. Taking small steps in learning, taking some risks and being open for different opportunity which were out of my realm of current knowledge has paid off tremendously.

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Jess’s Answer

The most rewarding part of my career path is how much growth the company I work for allows me to achieve. Sometimes it takes time to find the right company or type of job but it is always worth it if your employer gives as much back to you as you give to them. Research on potential companies is key!

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Kevin’s Answer

Developing people. While being a professional in Learning and Development my entire career, this seems to be the obvious answer. Otherwise why would I have become a trainer? I'll be more specific, I enjoy teaching people how to do their job, be more efficient etc. With that said, developing MY team, the people working for me directly is a passion of mine. I have had dozens of managers, bosses, etc. I have had only 3 mentors that have developed me. I want nothing else than to be a mentor for the people that are trusting me with their careers and livelihood.

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Madeline’s Answer

For me, the most rewarding thing to look for in a career path is opportunity for growth. Find something that is interesting to you and that has a lot of opportunity to learn, to support change, to help drive change, etc. Staying stagnant and doing the same things over and over is SO BORING. Find a role/company/path that challenges you to change and grow and drive change/growth in the organization as well.