The Supervising Series | Career Goals vs. Career Trajectory

So, you are interested in becoming a supervisor and perhaps trying to figure out how to get to that next step in your journey. The Supervising Series is AHEPPP’s initiative to help you along the way! Through this collection of articles we will:

  • Share Tips to broach the subject with your own supervisor(s)
  • Identify methods for gaining supervisory experience, whether in your day-to-day job, or through volunteer opportunities
  • Strengthen your appeal and provide tools to market yourself for supervisory positions
  • Hone your supervisory style and set you up to succeed in leading others

In this first installment, we will explore where and how to start the process of identifying your path to roles of supervision and leadership.

Career Goals vs. Career Trajectory

How do you define these terms for yourself? Do you see them as one in the same? Is one more aspirational than the other? What is your ability to control achieving your goals and/or trajectory

By definition, a goal is “an aim or desired result”, while trajectory is “the path followed by an object moving under the action of given forces.” Strategy is key when it comes to turning your goals into your trajectory. While there are always external factors at play, it’s important to never forget that YOU set the course for your career journey. This article is geared toward those of you exploring how your trajectory can include supervision. I’ve developed a series of considerations and resources to help you head in that direction. Whether it starts with a conversation with your supervisor, or thinking creatively about how you position volunteer leadership on your resume to include supervision experience, you’ve got this!

A really solid supervisor will want you to shine and grow. Most supervisors recognize that, no matter how amazing you are, they cannot keep you forever; inevitably, they need to  help prepare you for whatever comes next. To those of you that have supportive supervisors: yay! This is a great place to start. First and foremost, hopefully they are a great role model for you in the space of successfully managing and supporting others. Separately, having open dialogue with your supervisor around your career goals can be game-changing. Sometimes we assume our supervisors are mind readers and just “know” our career goals, but that’s not always the case! As such, laying out your goals in more explicit terms can help prompt your supervisor to identify opportunities for you to gain direct management experience with student staff, volunteers, or even other full-time employees. 

In the next installment we will explore methods of self advocacy and provide tangible tools for gaining experience and articulating relevant skills to future employers. 

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Comments on "The Supervising Series | Career Goals vs. Career Trajectory"

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Megan Fisher - Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Great info Alex!

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