How do we get to where we want to be in our career? How can we possibly overcome all of the obstacles that lay in front of us? How can we believe in ourselves? I’ve had many, many obstacles in my life and my career. All of them I have had to overcome with courage, strength and determination. I thought I’d share my background with you, so that maybe you will be inspired to set out and do what you want to do to pave your path in this world.
I grew up in a small town, raised by a single mother. We didn’t have much, and I had to overcome a lot of challenges in my childhood. I didn’t have the typical white picket fence and perfect home life with two stable parents. Money was scarce, and my Mom did her best to make sure we had the basic necessities of life – food, clothing and shelter. I started working odd jobs when I was 11, and I have worked ever since. I was responsible for paying for everything on my own, so I worked as much as I could, while going to school, so that I could pay for those things I needed. When I was in high school, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to afford going to college. I knew that in order to make something of my life, I needed to go to college or a trade school where I could learn a craft, have a stable career and make a good living. I didn’t want to struggle like my Mom did, trying to raise three kids on her own with little income.
I was told by my Guidance Counselor at my high school that I wouldn’t make it at a University, I would need to consider a community college. My grades weren’t good enough and my family certainly didn’t have the resources to pay my way. I wasn’t encouraged much by my teachers as a child, so I honestly thought that I was just an average student with average capabilities.
I was bound and determined to prove my Guidance Counselor wrong. I chose to go to a University away from home, and struggled my first year there. I didn’t struggle for lack of knowledge, I struggled for lack of encouragement and confidence in myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to be – maybe a psychologist, a manager at a retail store or a business owner. After my first year at college, I had no money to continue on into my second year and was not able to get enough in loans. I knew I had to finish college, I just didn’t know how I was going to pay for it. Lucky enough for me at the time, a friend convinced me to join the Air National Guard, which pays for college tuition. I thought I was crazy to join the military and allow someone to boss me around, but I was desperate. I was willing to do whatever I needed to pay for college and finish my degree, so that I could be successful and and have a fulfilling career.
After completing basic training and technical training for the Air Force, I was able to go back to college and complete my undergraduate degree. I had to serve in the Air National Guard part-time, but was able to go to college and work. The Air Force did something for me that I will never forget – it showed me that I can do whatever it is that I set my mind to. It showed me that I am special, intelligent and creative with talents of my own. It taught me that I could be successful and get straight A’s in college, as long as I was willing to work hard. It motivated me and encouraged me like I had never been motivated before. The people I met and worked with supported me and respected me, regardless of my background and upbringing.
After graduating from college Cum Laude with a degree in Business Management and Leadership, I wanted to start my Master’s Degree. I completed two Master’s, one in Business Management and one in Human Resources Development. After that, my career blossomed. Working in the Air National Guard in Personnel, also know as Human Resources, I started to realize my love for people and HR. I knew I wanted to work in HR, so I set out to start my career in the civilian sector.
I had many great HR opportunities that eventually led me to starting my own HR consulting business. I wanted to use my skills and abilities to help out a wide-range of different employers. I wanted to make a difference for many employers, as compared to working for just one employer. Was it easy? No, it wasn’t. I didn’t always have the greatest boss or the greatest job when I started out in my career, but I learned from them. I learned how to be a great boss, by observing a boss that wasn’t an effective manager or leader. I learned from leaving a job because it was not the right job for me. I learned to push and work harder, even when I wanted to give up.
I am proud of where I am at today in my HR career and military career. Had I listened to so many people who said I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t smart enough, that it’s too tough to work full-time and complete your Master’s Degree or impossible to build a business, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I never gave up. I learned from my mistakes and grew from my accomplishments. I have been humbled by my experiences and feel that I am the luckiest person in the world to be doing what I am doing – helping out employers with their HR needs and assisting job seekers with their resumes and career coaching.
So the next time someone tells you can’t do something, tell them YOU CAN! Envision the perfect job and work towards it. Make the decision to complete a degree or certification program, so that you can move forward in your career. Believe in yourself, push hard and pave the path to success your own way!
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