Plan a Path to Success

Kara Erickson
Kara Erickson, sales manager for Tiffany & Co. in Pasadena, California, at GIA's 2009 Jewelry Career Fair in Carlsbad. Photo by Kevin Schumacher/GIA
“Success means something different for everyone,” said Kara Erickson, a 1993 GIA graduate and sales manager for Tiffany & Co. in Pasadena, California, who credits most of her success to her education and many industry mentors. “Recently I’ve realized that success is not status or a title, but a series of choices, hard work and achievements. You can sit around and desire success all day or you can actually do something about it.”

She shared five key concepts she used to build her career with attendees of the 2009 Career Fair in Carlsbad:

1. Create your vision. “Have a vision of your career and what you want to do and what you want to be. You’ll get lost without a map.”

2. Stay focused. You may find yourself on a winding career path, but take advantage of those curves. This path “may lead you to various forks in the road, but it is up to you to make them into opportunities.”

3. Take action. “If you say you are going to do something, do it, follow through. Actions speak louder than words.”

4. Be prepared to make sacrifices. Find ways to overcome obstacles. “Prove to yourself and others that you are ready, willing and able to grow in your career.”

5. Get support. The jewelry industry is a very close-knit community. “The people who make up the industry were once in your shoes.”

Erickson also offered encouragement to the attendees. “Employers are looking for people like you. Not just because you are educated in gems and jewelry, but because you can reinvent the jewelry industry. Everything is at your fingertips. You have already made the choice to be successful and you are in charge of your career.”

Amanda J. Luke is a senior communications manager at GIA. She is the editor of the GIA Insider and Alum Connect and was the editor of The Loupe magazine.