What are you willing to invest in order to move your career forward? If you are bursting with potential, and you have things you would like to accomplish in your work life, here are five strategies to help you do just that. Instead of leaving your career up to whim, take these steps towards your future.
1) A career plan. Everyone knows the old adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. While not planning for the next five years does not necessarily mean that you will fail at your career, it may very well mean that you will drift in your career and allow other people to set your career direction instead of you doing this for yourself. Because life is so busy, it is easy to look up in five years and realize that the time flew by, and you can’t get that time back. Having a career plan gives you direction and something to work towards.
2) A mentor. Having a great mentor, especially as you start your career, can jumpstart your professional network. This person can introduce you to others in his or her network, and those connections can be invaluable. There will be people who will take time for you because both you and they are connected to your mentor. A mentor can also share his or her wisdom and experience that has been accumulated over the years. By drawing on this knowledge base, you can avoid mistakes that your mentor has made. You can also leverage this knowledge base to advise you when you get into difficult situations.
3) Professional association(s). One of the best places to network is your professional association. The people that you meet in this setting are people in your field, most of whom are employed at different organizations. It’s best to cultivate your network in a professional association before you plan to look for another position so that your network is already in place before you need it to help you land new employment. Having this type of professional network can put your career on the fast track.
4) Calculated risks. Taking calculated risks can help you move up quickly if done correctly. An example of such a risk could be volunteering for a major project that has high visibility. If you do a great job on this project, it will put your name in front of top management in a positive light. The key though is that you need to assess carefully what your skill level is and whether or not this is a project that you feel pretty confident you can excel at. Taking appropriate risks in your career at the right time can boost your career.
5) Positioning for promotions. If you are interested in moving up, find out exactly what management considers necessary to make you worthy of promotion. You need specifics. Is it your education level? Do you need a certification? Do you need managerial or supervisory experience? In addition to asking your manager these questions, it is to your benefit to check out the credentials of people who are actually promoted. In some cases, the credentials don’t matter as much as fit. If this is the case, you may have to work harder at cultivating relationships with management so that they will see you as worthy of promotion.
*If you are serious about fast tracking your career, work with a certified career coach with proven results. Call 877-743-9521 today!