The Greater Los Angeles Area YGL will maintain an environment that educates, inspires & transforms federal employees into prized promotable assets & be models for organization management that will be admired & emulated by agencies.
YGL-LA Let’s Talk Tuesdays: What career advice do you wish you’d known earlier?
February 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm #154447
It’s important to reflect on and share with each other lessons learned and best practices from navigating our agencies and budding public sector careers. This article in the Washington Post provides critical advice for young government leaders struggling to find our leadership style. Young government leaders: Lessons for the next generation
The article highlights mentorship as a critical component of career advancement for young government leaders. I wish I realized earlier the power of cultivating relationships and identifying mentors to help me understand my agency culture better and identify opportunities for challenging and rewarding projects. It’s important not only to find mentors whose careers we admire, but also to develop strong relationships with our peers and even those we supervise. Our public sector careers will hopefully last decades, during which we may call upon contacts and networks developed at a young age to help us successfully do our jobs.
What is one piece of advice you wish you’d known earlier in your career? How do you incorporate this wisdom to improve your performance now? Please share your thoughts so we can learn from your experience.
February 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm #154459
Matthew Wayne GonzalesParticipant
I can only choose one piece of advice? Darn, I feel like there is so much to choose from. If I had to pick one piece of wisdom I wish I’d have known at the start of my career path, it would definitely be infiltration. I know this is a broad term, but I mean it in the least complex way. Visibility, networking, opportunities, and relationships can all be realized and leveraged through infiltrating one’s workplace or community. This idea combined with the hard work and talent that many of our young leaders are displaying today can elevate seemingly average employees into superstars. Building a reputation in your work group is one thing. Building a reputation in your organization requires some serious infiltration.
Mentorships, volunteering, and being vigilant are excellent ways to gain meaningful experiences while infiltrating your workplace. I wish I would have known the importance of this sooner, as it holds true for any avenue that eventually leads to a career, including school. internships, and part-time employment.
I now engage in mentoring sessions with senior leaders, volunteer for everything I can get my hands on that does not directly interfere with work, and I am constantly looking for new opportunities to meet new people and expand my work duties into other areas of the organization. It is still early on in my career, but I am already starting to realize the benefits of infiltrating and engaging my organization.
February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm #154457
Having a great boss early in your career can be life-changing. I’ve been lucky to have some bosses that really cared about my career and made sure it didn’t stray off-course. Not only that but they were willing to challenge me and weren’t afraid to give me responsibility. I’ve learned a lot in my short time in federal service thanks to them.
If you aren’t as lucky to have this type of boss, then mentors can fill that gap! Meet a senior leader you admire and follow in their footsteps! Expand the boundaries of your job and make your bosses life easier.
February 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm #154455
To me it’s simply the power of networks – whether it’s co-workers, mentors, or reaching out to random folks I’ve been amazed how important they are to getting problems solved at work, getting new ideas, and getting ahead in your career.
I’ve found the people that have them and use them get a lot more done quickly and get ahead while folks who are shy and “hate networking” often run into issues
March 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm #154453
I echo the networkin/visibility advice. It takes more than just doing a good job day in and day out, you have to make connections with the people you work with. Find a mentor and keep friends in high places.
March 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm #154451
March 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm #154449
My advice would be to find your passion and soak up all the learning you can. Then go share it with people! Don’t hoard your knowledge. Learn and Share! Make it contagious and don’t be afraid to fail. We learn through our failures.
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