Transmission from the Top: Four Key Strategies for SuccessArticle
By Phil Bice, Technical Applications Supervisor
Success will not fall into your lap; you need to pursue it. Since starting with CNUC, I have identified that one of the best career plans is to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you. These opportunities take many forms, but all contribute to your personal and professional development. The right set of circumstances may prepare you for your future unforeseen and unimagined possibilities, and may ultimately lead you to your professional tomorrow. For me, capitalizing on these opportunities relied on four key strategies: saying yes to more, not hesitating, having a positive attitude, and maintaining focus. Through these strategies, I have moved from a CUF inspecting transmission lines to the Technical Applications Supervisor (the position I had my eye on since starting with CNUC). Let me touch on each of the four key strategies:
1. SAYING ‘YES’ TO MORE
The first, and possibly most obvious, step in taking advantage of opportunities is simply saying yes to them when they come around. Seemingly obvious or not, I feel it is worth mentioning here. Many people I speak with say things like, “I wish I could have.” This sort of statement is only an excuse. You can do much more than you might imagine, you simply have to commit to saying yes. I understand that sometimes it is challenging to say yes. Some opportunities involve sacrifice or unpleasant tasks. When evaluating an opportunity, determine if not doing it will leave you with the “missed out” feeling or if it could lead toward an aspiration of yours.
2. NOT HESITATING
Most opportunities are, by their nature, short-lived. You will want to spend quality time and effort determining the viability of an opportunity for you. However, to take full advantage of prospects, you should make your decision in quick order. This point applies not only to time but to not holding back. Shortly after I joined CNUC, a technical applications supervisor position opened up. I was keen on applying for this position.I had only been with the company for three months at the time but knew I had the necessary skills to succeed. After applying, I did not get the job. However, I made it into the final round of interviews, for which I am proud.
3. HAVING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Sometimes an opportunity will not go as planned or someone else is selected for one which you were eagerly anticipating; you cannot let this bring down your spirits. I did not get the technical applications supervisor job. What I did do, however, was create a connection with the Division 30 staff. This association led me to another opportunity – an invitation to work on a project. As it turned out, that project led to even more projects. Opportunities often beget opportunities. Each of these projects helped me in gaining skills and building more value as an employee. Eventually, I did get a position as a technical applications supervisor in Division 30, just as I always wanted.
4. MAINTAINING FOCUS
It is important when looking for and evaluating opportunities that you have a long-term focus. Hopefully, all of your career decisions are taking place with a focus on your goals. You will want to maintain a goal-oriented long-term vision; however, do not be so goal-oriented that you say no to opportunities that could take you to places unimagined. For me, one of those opportunities was beginning a career in the UVM industry. I had never before considered it. However, there was a vision within it that aligned with my long-term professional goals. The path felt windy while I was on it. Now, in retrospect, I can see that it was always a through-line path leading me to my current role. I continually look for whatever opportunities may present themselves next, and encourage you all to do the same.