By: Sara Kirkpatrick
As an up-and-coming professional, I’m constantly worried about my past getting in the way of my dream job. As students these fears are commonly expressed, but then quickly ignored; which is ironic because our past can be our strongest qualification. Our past, both good and bad, can lead to determining factors which help land us our dream job.
Last Friday, I was inspired by a Fearless Friday workshop, hosted by Business Associate Dean Erica Wagner: “How to turn your past into an asset.” The title for this workshop didn’t do it justice. I had no idea our own associate dean held such a genuine passion for our educational aspirations. She acknowledged students’ fears about the past with a sympathetic ear, and offered insightful, yet practical feedback.
After attending this session, I learned that our past shouldn’t be feared, but rather embraced. Wagner posed the question, “What’s your secret sauce?” What are traits that draw people to you? How has your past helped shape these traits? By answering these questions, students can overcome the fears that are keeping them from their dream jobs.
Takeaway Tips for Confronting your Past:
- Don’t turn your weakness into a positive; be frank about them
- Describe any personal growth you’ve experienced
- Remember, everyone has a weakness – this makes you more relatable
I high recommend anyone who hasn’t attended a Fearless Friday to be fearless and attend an upcoming workshop. It was not only inspiring, but motivating and gave me insight to a different side of PSU.
See you at the next Fearless Friday: http://www.pdx.edu/events/calendar