Are you wondering if it is time to switch up your job? Are you confused about if it’s the right time? Or maybe you know it is time to move on but you’re still trying to figure out what the next best step is for you. Today, Calisha Wright of GMMB is going to help soothe all of your worries and show us how to transition in the most elegant way possible. Check out this post to learn all about the ins and outs of moving out and moving up by a woman who has recently been through it and found results.
In the beginning. Calisha graduated from Howard University in 2007. “I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do with my career. I had interned with the Xerox Corporation. Honestly, as a young single mom, I took the first opportunity that jumped at me. As a business management major, I didn’t know where I wanted to start a career industry wise. I had a really great mentor that I interned for at Xerox. He put me on to a great sales opportunity. In that role I developed the skills to develop customer service development, business development, and a lot of strategic planning as far as calls and companies I targeted. It gave me the opportunity to develop as a young professional”.
You don’t have to be doing badly to want change. “After being in the sales position for a while, being put in positions where I was cold calling, hitting the pavement everyday, and asking people for their business. I decided I wanted to take a step back and really think about what I wanted to do as a career.”
Sometimes opportunity just hits. “It just so happened that I received a call from a headhunter one day. He asked me if I would be interested in other sales opportunities. I said ‘what do you have?’ I wasn’t thrilled with what he had to offer with sales but I knew that I had to move on either from Xerox or move in another direction. After coming into the office and him going over his pipeline of other opportunities, he looked at me and said, 'hey are you interested in doing what I am doing?' I had never considered being a recruiter, I didn’t know what it entailed. I was just shocked that he considered me in that light. He asked me to come shadow him the next day, to see if what he did was interesting to me at all. I went in the next day and fell in love with recruiting. It had the strategic opportunity and calls I was used to with sales but I love, love, love meeting new people and building relationships. I think that is one of my strong suits in the role I am in right now."
Skills can be transferred. " I am very likeable and I could sell our organization to future employees because I have those sales skills embedded in the way I talk and the passion I have about the work that I do. I started working in the recruiting field in 2011 and since then really climbed the ropes in working various different staffing agency and consulting gigs where I helped build recruiting teams”
Know your strong suits. “There’s always room for growth and thinking about and working in new opportunities. I knew I had skills in cold calling, being organized, and building relationships. I know that I enjoy these three things about sales, what industries would I be able to move into that I could use these skills and win at it. Identify these core skills, do your own background research and be your own self advocate. I can do these skills in this position and also be stellar at it in this world as well”.
Look out for yourself. “You are your biggest advocate. If you don’t have the mindset to think positively about yourself in the direction you’re going, no one else will do that and you will go nowhere. I think that just having an open mind to advancing and progressing and making those key connections that will help you to leverage where you want to go is very beneficial. Even if it’s just reaching out to someone saying hey, I’m looking at your background on Linkedin and I think that i want to move in the direction of Diversity and Inclusion, do you have a couple of minutes to just briefly talk to me over the phone.
And speak out for yourself. "It is really important to try to overcome some of the intimidations you may have and take a leap of faith. It is always going to be fearful to get out of your comfort zone and sell yourself to someone you don’t know, but you have to do it in order to take advantage of opportunities because a closed mouth does not get fed. That is one thing my mom had instilled in me. I was shy, meek didn’t really want to join the church choir, I didn’t want people staring at me. As I got older, I saw that I was missing out on opportunities. Just developing self confidence and those warm touch points for people to introduce yourself and take advantage of opportunities is very beneficial. You have to be your own self advocate, at least ask for advice and assistance”.
Don’t be scared to make new connections, they’re important! “As I was looking to transition and for new opportunities to be passionate about everyday I would set these three goals for myself. Once I finish my duties, checking off the list of all the things I had done. Really go out there and apply and make connections on Linkedin. Who would be interested in meeting with me, going for a brief lunch and be introducing myself to people at organizations I am interested in. That put me in me in a position to be building my network and am doing active and proactive searching for myself.”
Take this advice and take the risk. Take time to reflect inward and find your best qualities. Focus on your networks and cultivating relationships. And, if need be, learn to become more organized to make all of this happen. Check back next week to learn more from Calisha, next week focusing on Diversity and Inclusion.
Thank you so much to Calisha for your time and great advice. Follow GMMB on Facebook and Twitter.