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  • Writer's pictureKobe carbajal

Level UP!: How I gained the skills needed to succeed in my career

Updated: Sep 8, 2021


The term, Level Up, is an iconic phrase in pop culture that describes the process of growth and progression of a character through the acquisition of skills and experience.

This journey that you take to level up in games can, in some ways, be pretty similar to your professional development journey.

Whether it’s overcoming one significant challenge or a hundred small ones, the path one takes to gain experience might look different, but there are some underlying features I feel they all share. Those traits being:

  • Resourcefulness

  • Reliability

  • Knowledge

  • Tenacity

These traits are things I’ve been learning firsthand in my professional journey.

Level 1: Landscaper

Like in most games, you start as a level 1 character with a small number of skills and abilities.

My journey started with my fourteen-year-old self acquiring the first skill needed to discover new opportunities and prospects that would be invaluable to sending me on my career path. The way I started developing this skill was by creating a freelance landscaping operation.

Growing up in a small town in California, the number of opportunities available was almost nonexistent. Given the laws of the state, I was too young to work in any of the businesses located near me. So, being someone who hated the idea of not being able to work because I was too young, I decided to take matters into my own hands and find my own work.

The skills I learned by having this mentality are something I still practice to this day.

Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness: This is a skill I acquired during my time working as a landscaper. A skill that would help me discover new opportunities and take my first step in my career path.

It all started when I was fourteen years old, spending the first half of my summer mowing my uncle's property. At the time, I thought it was a way to make a quick buck. Little did I know, this would become the inciting incident that would launch me into starting my professional career.

I live in a small retirement town, so most of the residents are senior citizens who are unable to maintain their lawns. Unknown to me at the time, the demand for a quality landscaper was incredibly high.

So, when word went around that there was someone who could maintain their properties, they all jumped on the opportunity to hire me. Being someone who doesn't like to miss a chance to increase his revenue stream, I happily took the opportunity to gain new clients. I spent the next couple of years maintaining lawns all over my county and building a healthy relationship with them.

Doing this helped me gain enough experience to level up to my next role.

Level 2: Grocery clerk

After some time passed, I eventually moved on from my landscaping operation to broaden my horizons and find a new occupation. Finally, finding myself working at my local grocery store as a clerk and utilizing the skills I gained as a landscaper, I acquired my next invaluable skill.

Reliability

Reliability: is one of the most valuable skills I gained while working as a grocery clerk. This skill helped me become a person who will always do a job to the best of his ability.

Because I saw how being resourceful helped me while I was a landscaper, I aimed to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible when I became a grocery clerk. After several months of working at the store, I accomplished my goal by gaining expertise in almost every department in the store. I was responsible for stocking the shelves, running check stands, sanitizing and cleaning the store, etc.

While I gained a lot of experience, it also came with many high expectations and demanded results. Learning how to do each job thoroughly and effectively led to one of the most important skills I gained while I was there. That skill was my reliability, by showing initiative and trying to join as many departments as possible and doing each job with the same level of excellence. I became one of the most reliable and valuable assets to the store by becoming a jack-of-all-trades that could effectively work in each department, giving me enough experience to level up to the next stage in my journey.

Level 3: Praxis apprentice

Praxis is a highly demanding career discovery program that pushes its participants to help them reach new heights in their career paths by giving their applicants the opportunity to develop the practical skills needed to help them find success in their careers.

Knowledge and Tenacity


Knowledge and Tenacity: These are the skills I'm currency gaining while at Praxis. In addition to learning how to hone my previous skills and experiences, I’m also acquiring an abundance of new practical skills needed for each type of role in a business, whether it’s learning how to start a marketing campaign or track down sales prospects. The amount of knowledge I'm gaining while participating in this program will undoubtedly launch me further in my career.

After starting my first module at Praxis, I learned one other thing. I discovered if I wanted to succeed in this program, I’d need to be as tenacious as possible while working on my projects. I quickly found that I wasn't going to get anywhere by doing the bare minimum. To succeed in this program, I need to continually push myself to go above and beyond and try to defy expectations. While working on the first module, I would shoot videos and write blog posts every week. And when I started, I didn’t feel like I was particularly good at it, but I was determined to succeed, so I constantly pushed myself to create high-quality projects. Over time, I gradually gained the determination to reach new heights.

I’ve gained new, practical knowledge and Perseverance to go above and beyond. After one month of joining the program, I’ve already acquired two more skills needed to continue down my career.

Venturing onward

From my journey as a level 1 landscaper, I learned to be resourceful, to a level 2 clerk where I learned to be reliable, and a level 3 apprentice where I’m learning to be knowledgeable and tenacious. I’m always pushing myself and acquiring new skills needed to reach new heights and level up as I move forward in my journey.


I’ve gained new, practical knowledge and Perseverance to go above and beyond. After one month of joining the program, I’ve already acquired two more skills needed to continue down my career.

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