“It’s important to understand what it is you can contribute professionally that no one else can,” Weinbaum said. “Identify one of your skills, and elaborate it; make it something you are an expert at.”
But what do you do if your boss doesn’t provide you with the opportunity to do that? Take things into your own hands.
“Show your employer that you are not afraid to take initiative, you use your time effectively, and that you go above and beyond,” she said.
For example, you could create a project proposal and present it to your boss.
BONUS TIP: Document all that you’re doing so you have something to show for it. It will be easier for you to reference later on.
Love it or hate it, networking is an essential part of finding a career you love. And no, networking isn’t limited to big, networking events with fancy appetizers (mmm crabcakes!). You can network with people on social media, virtual networking events, informational interviews, and more. Weinbaum’s top tip for networking effectively? Have an elevator pitch.
“Always have a business card on you and a 30-second elevator pitch about your personal brand ready,” she said.
An elevator pitch is basically your professional introduction. Not sure what your elevator pitch should say? If you’re a student, you can include your university, your major, and your current professional aspirations.
BONUS TIP: Always have a business card handy. You don’t need to have a job to have a business card. You can simply list your name, contact information, and your branding statement on this card. Keep them with you at all times. “You never know what good fortune may be waiting for you in the most unexpected places,” said Weinbaum.
“A good outlook can go a long way in any business,” Weinbaum. “Professionals always admire positivity and optimism. With the right attitude (and outfit of course), you can accomplish anything.”
You don’t have to wait until you’re unhappy with your career to start becoming professionally independent. Start taking control of your career as early as possible! You’ll be glad you did.
Today, Weinbaum is a junior at Villanova University with a concentration in Finance and Real Estate, and she’s leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of her classmates on her journey to professional success.