Some may say it takes hard work and dedication to reach ultimate long-term career goals, others may believe some people just “get lucky.” Whether one does work extremely hard and goes above and beyond to reach long-term career goals, or just “gets lucky,”both situations demonstrate strong leadership (Northouse, 2016).
Julie, the now Lead Director for a Non-Profit Nutrition Program, was once sitting behind her desk in an entry-level position for the same program, trying to budget out her everyday expenses. Though she only made just enough to get by, Julie was extremely involved within her organization. She was known for completing extra tasks which were not even expected of her, as well as always being first to turn in assignments. Julie enjoyed her ever day tasks from providing nutrition education and counseling to new mothers and children, to attending nutrition outreach events and conferences. Though she enjoyed these tasks, she still felt like she could be doing more to benefit the organization. Employed by a non-profit organization, she knew funding was limited, raises were a rare occurrence, and it would be difficult to advance in her career. At one point, Julie thought about going back to school, so she could eventually obtain a higher position for another nutrition related organization, but she was unsure of what to study. The only option Julie had, was to “keep on going” in her current position. Julie later developed drive, passion, and determination to continue succeeding in her current position. By demonstrating these traits in her daily work, others started looking up to Julie as a leader (Northouse 2016).
Five short years had flown by, Julie was still succeeding as a leader in her entry-level position but continued to struggle financially. Her rent was going up about two hundred dollars a year, she had numerous unexpected car expenses, and was also being charged an arm and a leg for late fees due to not paying bills on time. You could only imagine what more could happen! But one day, her life was soon about to change for the better. Julie received an email from her manager stating she was going to retire in just three months. At first, Julie was confused as to why she needed to know this information and congratulated her manager and continued to go about her day. Her manager then called her in for a meeting. Julie received praise from her manager on her tremendous leadership skills she had shown and developed over the years. That being said, her manager then offered Julie the position as Director for once she retired. Julie was ecstatic and instantly accepted the position! Julie then realized, she was able to succeed and move up within her career, solely by demonstrating traits of leadership (Northouse, 2016)!
If Julie can do it, so can you!
Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. [ISBN: 978-1483317533]