Advice for Achieving Your Best Start

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WSU Couger's gym bag, filled with shoes and Executive MBA journal.

Here we are again, the start of a brand new year. The holidays finally are behind us, and those new pants don’t seem to fit quite as well after that second helping of pie. While you are packing that gym bag and tossing all the junk food from the fridge, remember that it’s just as important to foster your career in the new year, as it is your health.

I’ve learned a few steps which I think will help you build your best you for 2022:

  1. Whether you just graduated (congrats, by the way) or are still pursuing your degree, was there someone in the WSU Online MBA or EMBA program that acted as a mentor for you? A professor perhaps, or another student who’s in your dream industry? Reach out to them and connect. Don’t be shy, in my experience Cougars are the most caring and collaborative group of individuals around. This individual might have materials they would recommend you research, or perhaps even allow you to shadow them so you can get that invaluable on-the-job training.
  2. Polish up your resume and get that LinkedIn profile ready for the recruiters.  Did work last year feel humdrum, and you’re looking for that next challenge? Then I’ve got good news for you, since in my opinion as an IT director, 2022 will be a year of rebuilding and new hires. The vacancies left from the events of the last 18 months are giving unprecedented opportunities for those looking to do something new.
  3. Take on that new project at work and embrace upskilling. We’ve been taught the skills of how to adapt and transform in our MBA and EMBA classes, now it’s time to put those skills to work.  Continue that growth, both personally and as an asset to your organization. Use this project to enhance proficiency or learn something brand new. We never stop learning, and if you can get someone else to pay for it, even better!
  4. If you have the time, volunteer for something that gives you both personal and career fulfillment. I know, adding one more thing to our already busy lives can feel daunting at times. However, remember your long-term goals, and see if volunteering helps you achieve them. Personally, my journey is leading me to teach at a university. As such, I’m setting aside time this year to be a guest lecturer, and possibly be a teacher’s assistant for a class or two. I know how important it will be for me to achieve this life-long goal.  Keep something like this in mind if you also see your career path stretching out before you.

Finally, and most importantly, be good to yourself. You are bound to have ups and downs in your career this year. Forgive your missteps, ride the wave, and above all else keep pushing forward. Do that, and you’ll be amazed at how successful you’ll be in 2023.

Written By #CougaMBAssador Aaron R. W. Wheeler   

Aaron Wheeler headshot.