Now What?

Dating back to when we were small, most of us remember our parents talking up education. We were told that if we work hard in school and persevere, we could accomplish anything we set out to do.

Fast forward five, ten, fifteen years and here we are – many of us are in careers that line up with our goals as people and as professionals. Others may be in transition, looking for that great company to call home or for a better place to land.

Regardless, at some point you’ve probably reflected – maybe over your morning java – on where you are now and what you envision for yourself down the road. Could be you were triggered by the pomp and circumstance during the month of May or maybe you’re in a rut and in need of a workplace pick-me-up.

But, it’s important to remember that our growth and education doesn’t end once we settle into a career. It’s really just beginning.

One of the things I value most about C&A is the value they place on me and that’s reflected in the myriad of personal and professional development opportunities available to me and my co-workers (make note, new grads and job seekers).

At C&A, we have a dedicated training department, Aureus University, that not only provides initial training for our new team members but continued, career-long training for all of us. We keep them very busy.

For example, recently a class of 31 completed an 8-week Professional Development course. And soon a new group will begin our Pathways to Success course, which prepares employees who are interested in progressing to leadership and management roles. (Yep, we train our employees to become managers. This is huge.) Then Level II of Professional Development will begin and in the meantime, we’ll welcome a group of new employees and they’ll start their 12-week training journey into becoming rock star sales people. Oh, at some point in the middle of all of this we’ll add a handful of new books and DVDs to our corporate library, upload some new online training sessions to the Aureus University website, and probably host a guest speaker.

Not to get off-point, but while our training department is busy doing their thing, our wellness committee is knee deep in scheduling lunch-n-learns and health-related activities, all to help us achieve a work-life balance.

The best thing – our employees take full advantage.

So, for you readers who aren’t part of the C&A team, what can you do to keep moving forward as a professional and as a learner?

First, be an information sponge and seek out opportunities for learning. They don’t always fall in your lap, you may need to take the initiative. Read your industry trade publications and grab some books; find out if your company supports professional development seminars, workshops, or online courses; and visit reputable websites related to your business and field. Lastly, don’t ignore your personal self. Taking care of your body, mind, and spirit will help nourish your professional life.

Though your cap and gown may have collected dust, your role as a student has not. It’s a life-long thing, but only if you want it to be.

Mary Carrick is a Sr. Communications Specialist with C&A, Industries. In her role, she’s responsible for crafting spot-on copy for internal and external audiences, coordinating public relations efforts, co-producing videos, and various other special projects. Outside of her career at C&A, she’s a professional singer, an actress, and a mom.

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