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Cinderella Story: Beat the Odds in Your Career

As college basketball heats up, public attention turns toward the nail-biting lows and glorious emotional highs of March Madness. Sports fans avidly follow the Cinderella stories that make this season so unpredictable and riveting. As far as we're concerned here at MyPerfectResume, when it comes to a Cinderella story, there's one aspect of life that offers even more electrifying thrills and more surprising upsets than the basketball court: the job market.

Are you this season's inspirational story in the making? Are you the odds-on favorite, or the come-from-behind surprise runaway hit? Are you a dark horse making a run for it? Are you an out-of-nowhere small town superstar? We haven't met you, but we can say this: If anyone has a chance to break out this year and make it to the big stage, you do. No matter the details of your past, anything can happen. Here are a few ways to beat the odds, even if they're stacked against you.

Take out your map

Pause for moment during your busy life and think about your first job. Now look around at where you are now. Even if your advancement is minimal, it's still progress; you're still moving forward. You're still climbing. Take a moment to celebrate the road that lies behind you. You've earned it.

Take credit for your Cinderella story 

Take credit for all you've accomplished.y extension, take credit for the skills you've gained and will apply in the future. Whatever the challenge you may be facing, remind yourself that you can do this. You may not have tackled this specific mountain before, but you've faced similar versions of it. If you conquered them, acknowledge this. And if you got knocked down, recognize and appreciate the lessons you learned in the process. Let them educate you and make you stronger.

Get out in front of the biggest projects

If you're already employed and trying to get ahead, ask for higher levels of responsibility. Don't wait for your boss to decide that you're ready. If you're ripe for the challenge (which you are), just say so. Don't allow yourself to be held back by uncertainties.

Speak up

If you want something, say so. If you want acknowledgement, a promotion, or a higher salary, say so. If you have a contribution to share during a meeting, speak up. Don't wait for an invitation. Nobody can read your mind. If you hear a no, back up, change your strategy, change your target, and try again.

Look for role models

Before you ask for that intimidating responsibility, identify someone else who seems to have what you want. Find someone who occupies a position a few steps ahead of you on the map, and watch that person closely. What is this person doing to facilitate success? Can you make the same moves?  

Even when the chips are down, or you've experienced a setback, you can (and you will) get where you're going. And when you get there, you'll take the next step. Then the next one. Don't let the past continue to hold you back. For more on how to move forward and live your Cinderella story, visit the resources at MyPerfectResume.

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