Tips for Self-Advocacy in the Workplace
At the University of Chicago College, we believe the more voices we have around the table, the better intellectual inquiry and discovery work. Following are tips the College’s office of Career Advancement and accomplished alumni offer current students as they prepare to pursue careers.
- Know your strengths. Employers seek candidates whose skills and disposition best match the requirements of a job and the culture of an organization. Know your unique strengths and how to articulate them, so potential employers can easily understand how you would contribute to an organization’s success and diversity of thought in the workplace.
- Aim high. Searching for or advancing in a job can seem overwhelming, especially if you are the first person from your family or community to take on your chosen career path. Don’t let this stop you. Set goals, evaluate your progress in achieving them, and seek advice from mentors, family, or friends if you need help.
- Fail forward. Consider failure and constructive criticism opportunities for professional growth. Review them, reflect on them, and learn from them.
- Find your support team. Part of knowing your strengths is knowing your limits. Lean on your mentors for support. A great mentor is one who can help you determine the right answers yourself, rather than telling you what to do.
- Stay true to yourself. Regularly ask yourself if your current job or career path is the best fit for your interests, skills, and values. If a professional experience is not enabling you to do your best work or achieve your potential, don’t be afraid to move on.