You Don’t Have to be an Entrepreneur to be an Expert

By Kia Jarmon of MEPR Agency for 12th & Broad

Do you work at a 9-5? Do you find yourself sitting at your desk dreaming about being the boss? Are you stuck in your career and not sure how to move forward? Do you rush to clock out at the end of the day out of frustration of your current position? Do you peruse job sites looking for something greater? Do you read CEO profiles in magazines and think ‘that should be me?’ During lunch and on your breaks are you working on a side venture? In an ideal world would you quit your job today to launch your own business?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I am probably talking to you!

In my coaching program I work with a great deal of ‘stuck’ people—whether they are entrepreneurs or individuals who work 9-5 and want to discover their expert. I find very often those who are working their way through a traditional career don’t know where to begin in fulfilling their life’s purpose. Most of my friends who I grew up with heard something like ‘work the same job for 30 years, get your gold watch, and retire.” The end. I am sure you may have heard something similar.

But the generation of today isn’t interested in just one workplace. And they certainly aren’t interested in staying in the same position. Equally, I recognize, you may not be interested in living life as an entrepreneur. So you may ask, is there a way to work just as a hard as an entrepreneur while working your way through a traditional position?

Yes, indeed there is. For some it is called being an internal entrepreneur, also known as an intrapreneur. Whether you formally want to consider yourself in this role or not the path to the end goal can lead you to the same place. So how can you get there?

1.   Discover your voice. There is power in your voice; what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to can all be instrumental or detrimental in your next move. It is important to understand when to speak up and when to just take notes, when to put your foot down and when to compromise. How you speak up for yourself and your career is noted and necessary. If you have trouble with your tone, inflection, or volume, I suggest standing in a mirror and acting out a potential scenario.

This notion will also help with public speaking and presentations or pitches. All which are necessary when looking to move into a greater position.

2.   Get involved. I receive at least a couple calls a month from individuals who are working in jobs that help make ends meet each month but isn’t their desired destination. So how do you express that you have additional knowledge? You must show your abilities in some way.

There are a few ways to do this but I will share two. While on the job, get your work done and then ask if there is a way to work on a project within the department you aspire to join. There is no better way for your employers to see your ambition and talent in real time.

Or you can volunteer for a non-profit board or event, specifically asking to be responsible for a certain committee (fundraising, accounting, marketing, etc.). This is essential for them to see that you can take on more work and have untapped talents.

3.   Seek recognition. This is a hard one but it’s important. Does your workplace provide acknowledgements or awards? What are the qualifications? Find out what you have to do to be among the recipients. While it may take a couple of years, it is a great goal to achieve. You will be widely recognized and have exceeded the status quo.

Additionally, there are external awards given by local organizations and media outlets. Have you looked at those lists and can envision yourself there? Then it’s time to take the steps to one day be among the awardees. I can give you one tip. They are usually looking for someone who can show their professional work and also how they serve the community.

4.   Be visible online. If nothing else join LinkedIn. This is a great place to share who you are beyond the title. Do you have work samples? Have you worked with someone who can give you a recommendation? There are communities to join, colleagues to connect with, and even a place to blog aka share your expert voice. This is THE place to pitch yourself.

This is a bite-sized portion of the mapping program, but just start here. Take the next month (March) to work through what I’ve given you. Take each task and thoroughly work through it. Hey, and let me know how it goes.

Cheers to getting un-stuck!