“No” Doesn’t Mean No in Your Career Unless You Want It To

Career Coach Sherri Thomas tells viewers how to re-brand their career on NBC-TV Phoenix.

Sometimes, I get told “no” in my career. But it doesn’t stop me. It brings out the gritty side in me 🙂 

A few years ago, I desperately wanted a higher position and a higher paycheck. I was working for a regional retail chain as an advertising copywriter with a small salary, and felt significantly under-utilized. After four years, I asked my manager about development opportunities in our relatively flat organization and he told me there weren’t any.

Being stifled like that really frustrated me.

I realized that if I wanted to advance my career, then I would need to invest in my own development. So I joined the American Marketing Association Phoenix Chapter’s Board of Directors, and within eight months became President. Two years after that, I was named President of their National Council, representing 75,000 members in North America.

That investment of personal time and energy helped me develop my leadership skills, which led me to a new company with a 6-figure salary job.

How many times have you been stifled in your career?
No options. No opportunities. No budget for professional development.

Throughout my career I’ve learned one thing: I own my career – not someone else. A few years into my new job, I decided to go for an even higher paying technical position. The only drawback was that it required a project management certification that I didn’t have. After 30-days of studying around the clock, I had my certification, my new job and a bump in pay. I’ve been working at that same Fortune 100 Company as a Program Manager for the past 13 years – yes, I’m a Career Coach who’s driving my own career 🙂 

I look at my career and my own professional development as something I’m driving on my own terms. If it’s something that I really want to do, and I mean really want to do, then I step up and invest in myself.

“No” is not an option in my professional development.

I take full ownership of developing myself, and sometimes that means investing my own personal time, money or even vacation days.

I’m not saying that I like using my vacation days or spending my own money for professional development. But sitting around waiting for the possibility of someone else investing in me isn’t going to help me. I don’t do it for the company I work for. Or for my manager. I develop myself for me.

So how do I determine whether a development opportunity is worth my own personal investment?

I ask myself questions like, What’s in it for me? Could this help me get my next job? Does this feed my passion? Is this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? These answers help me determine how badly I want it.

There are blessings that come with being told “no.” It can give you clarity on what’s important. It can cause you to set boundaries on what’s non-negotiable. It can make you bold. It can make you resilient. It can make you stand up and fight for yourself and your career.

Never let someone stop you from growing in your career.

Be smart about which development opportunities you want and then go after them. ‘No” is not a stopping point. It’s a distraction. When a roadblock pops up, do whatever it takes to go around it. You own your career – not someone else. 🙂

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist. She teaches others how to think differently and more proactively in their career. Her book, ”The Bounce Back” is the 2013 winner of “Best Career Book” by Indie Book Awards for independent book authors. Her first book is on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a powerful personal brand.” As the Founder/President of Career Coaching 360. Sherri specializes in providing one-on-one coaching to professionals and executives who want to change, reinvent or advance their career.

For a limited time, you can download the three FREE chapters of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

The Bounce Back by Sherri Thomas

About Career Coach Sherri Thomas
Sherri Thomas is a leading career coach who helps professionals transform and thrive in their career. She is a leading career coach, Huffington Post writer, globe trotting keynote speaker, and the 2013 Best Career Book author of “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback.” As a sought after media source, she has been featured in top news outlets including NBC-TV Phoenix, the Wall St. Journal, TIME, New York Daily News, Monster.com and many others. She loves traveling around the world and learning about other cultures, thrives in nature, and will always encourage you to go on what she calls a life changing Kenyan safari because the 30-hour flight journey “isn’t that bad.”

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