Everyone has their “dream career” that they candidly speak about. Their dream job, their ideal working environment and ideal culture. But for many, it’s just that. The majority will never progress past this point due to complacency and comfort. This is where your career becomes lost…. Here is my mini list for effectively navigating your career and things you can start doing TODAY:
1. Be very clear about what you want
It’s totally okay to be direct when talking about, and expressing your career goals. An OUTSTANDING Leadership team wants to know what your plans are and where you see yourself in the next 5 years. After all, good leaders are naturally keen to develop leaders. You must find an appropriate way to easily express what interests you, what value you feel you can bring to the table and how you will demonstrate this value add by embarking on a bigger role. Be confident and bold in your delivery. GOOD leaders will listen and support you!
2. Showcase your Talents
Often some will never get this right and I urge you to seek out the positives in this long-term strategy. Sometimes, you MUST show that you have what it takes to do the job before the job is given to you. Put your hand up to work on a special project without compensation. Offer to take on something that is outside of your usual role. Not only will this demonstrate your passion, but it also demonstrates your ability to juggle multiple tasks at once and work under increased pressure; the catch is, just make sure your current responsibilities, whatever they are, do not suffer.
3. Speak up!
There are often times you will think someone should, or is going to tap you on the shoulder and say “Hey, I have an opportunity for you”, or you think that longevity will pay off and you will be rewarded in a business. Unfortunately, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment by adopting this type of mindset. Waiting for someone to hand you an opportunity will almost ensure that you stay exactly where you are. Instead, you have to almost broadcast to your manager and sometimes your manager’s manager exactly what you want! Just like you, managers and leaders are so busy with the day to day; navigating your career isn’t their top priority. Don’t be afraid to discuss career goals and possibly create a career plan that will help prepare you to make that next move. As I mentioned earlier, GOOD LEADERS will always develop leaders!
4. Build Authentic Relationships
Perhaps your next move isn’t in your current area. This should NOT be a deterrent or reason for delay! Take a step out of your comfort zone and schedule some time with the hiring manager or perhaps someone with whom you might be working closely with.
These networking opportunities will give YOU an opportunity to showcase your interpersonal skills and enthusiasm behind the role or area of work, whatever that may be. Take stock of what else you are doing here. Attend networking events, build your personal profile up, talk to other industry professionals, attend seminars. The list is endless.
All of these little tips are low hanging fruit that can be achieved. It all comes down to how passionate you are about your career and what you are willing to do to get to your goal. But you must put in MAXIMUM effort. At the end of the day, YOU control your career path, no one else.