Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What do we do when we fall off the horse?

"I don't know Maury, I'm not a gymnist"

I recently attended a workshop held at Great Camp Sagamore on professional development and I want to share the words of wisdom here. In part to help keep myself accountable, but these steps are applicable at any point in your career. Its important to always look forward.

The lady leading the workshop is currently a professor for the Museum Studies program at Syracuse University, something I snickered at slightly. The relationship between Sagamore and Syracuse is somewhat of an inside joke with the Sagastaff. But I promise you she knows her stuff.

Before you even begin to develop a career you need to find a way to make your personal life work with your professional life. And as your personal life changes so will this relationship so you will need to make adjustments as things come. Remember: You bring your own uniqueness-values, skills, interests etc. and that gives you an edge.

Step 1: Self Awareness

What are your Pinnacles (highlights of where you are at) and Pitfalls (negatives of where you are at)? Think deeply and outline 3 or 4 of each, find common links, then come up with a headline that captures the essence of each.

My Pinnacles:
-people leaving excited about history after my tour
-developing social media marketing
-writing proposal for intern project

Common Links: They are all something tangible. I like seeing the results of my work.

My (lame) Headline: Eileen-The Arts and Crafts Revival Artisan

What it Means: mentioning the Arts and Crafts Revival is inherently historical, its connecting me the worker with my finished product, and I am generally crafty and enjoy creating useful things.

My Pitfalls:
-dealing with negative co-workers and guests
-being told no because of tradition
-confrontational criticism of my work

Common Links: I don't handle direct negativity well. And I am a bit of a hypocrite because I get set in my ways but hate when other people are the same way.

My (lame..again) Headline: Negativity hurts, especially when people are falling in my foot holes.

Step 2: The Vision

What do you want your career to look like? Define what would be nice to have and what are necessities.

My Vision (*indicates must haves):
-ability to do research
-more responsibility
-working with people and objects
-community support
-common vision*
-year round position*
-full time
-professional development*
-job satisfaction*

Your vision should change as you do. Right now I can't afford another unpaid internship but I don't really need benefits because I still make the cusp to use my parents insurance. I really need professional development because I am just starting to build my resume in the museum world. I know I have more I can add, but this step definitely requires self awareness.

Some things you can go outside your job to obtain. For example, if my job doesn't leave room to do the research I want to do, I can do it on my own time.

I was warned to remember that sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for. "The grass is not always greener on the other side." Sometimes you can't handle what you want. Again, it takes self awareness.

Step 3: The What

What do you need to obtain your vision?

Knowledge: is directly in your control, you can learn what you don't know

Skills: the learned capacity to do something and get a desired, predictable result

Talents: skills that come naturally

Experience: comes over time

Outline what you have, what you need, and how to get what you need.

Step 4: Goal Development

Make sure your goals are SMART.


Step 5: Stay Motivated

Find ways to stay motivated and don't let set backs hold you back.

Step 6: Action

Make it happen

For the longest time my goal was to simply graduate from college. I successfully accomplished that. Now I need to come up with a new set of goals.

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