So you’re at the planning stage, and thinking about the things that you’d like to do to advance your career and get ahead. You don’t have to make a change right away (but check yesterday’s blog post if that’s the case—because you’ll need that information to help you get ahead too).
Here are my top 12 kick butt strategies for a career that really inspires.
1. Assess people in your target positions (remember yesterday’s step 4 about outlining your next five career moves), and have an honest look at the people already there. Who does an excellent job? What skills do they have? Do you have those skills or perhaps even more to offer?
2. If you want to work for a different company, then it can help to get to know some of the people there. Conduct an information gathering interview. Equally powerful is to join an association and get involved to get known. Don’t just sit on the periphery waiting to be discovered. Remember that this is an investment in your career. Participate wholeheartedly too; no one is going to gravitate toward you if your membership is simply a replacement for a business card.
3. Think strategically about what you are prepared to do to help yourself. Be honest about it. If you’re only willing to commit 10 minutes a week, then you’re not going to get far and you won’t be advancing that quickly. Get serious, get committed and get results.
4. If you do not have the education that you need for the position that you want, or you know that the folks in the jobs you want have more education than you do, take a class to develop your competency in the area you want to get into. You don’t have to necessarily need to have completed the same level of development, but you’d better be showing your commitment to and interest in your target area. Go after the credentials that apply to your desired area of work; these days there are certificates and courses for pretty much everything, and employers use them as part of the process to see who is serious and who is not.
5. Analyze your competition and see how you measure up. You want to establish yourself as THE best candidate, not just any candidate. Analyse where your competition’s weaknesses are and ensure that you don’t have issues yourself in those same areas, while you continue to improve your own strengths.
6. Assess your current work load. Does what you’re doing have an impact on people you want noticing you? Is there an opportunity for you to gain exposure based on what you are working on? Does someone several levels above you know about your work, and the value it will bring to the organization? If not, ask for more responsibility, and volunteer if tasks are not offered directly to you. Then make certain that you are prepared to deliver, and go out of your way to impress.
7. Speaking of impressing, do more than what is expected of you. Go above and beyond the call of duty so that when tough stuff comes up, people are looking to you for answers. If you want to get ahead, you must be ahead, and if you wish to lead you must behave like a leader no matter what your job title is.
8. Dress for where you want to be in life, in the position that you want. That might mean that you are the best dressed person on your team, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Dressing for the position that you want is exactly how other people can picture you doing the job that you desire.
9. Visualize yourself in that position that you want, making the decisions and completing the projects that count. Visualization is a very powerful to get your subconscious helping you to achieve that new job. Even if you aren’t sure what it is that you want, visualize yourself doing the things that you know are a part of your future. What are you wearing? Where are you living? Imagine your body language and demeanour as someone who has what they want. If you cannot see yourself in the position that you want, no one else will see you there either.
10. Read periodicals that pertain to your industry. If you are not reading these, then you are not up to date and can derail your own plans by missing out on key developments or changes that are taking place. Take responsibility for what you must know, and READ. Keep up on technological changes for the same reasons.
11. Make a list of the TYPES of jobs that you would love. Don’t put barriers there; think outside the box a little. There are more than 20,000 different jobs in the job bank database, and more get added every year, yet many people when asked can only list about sixty before they run short of ideas.
12. Keep an open mind about relocation. A lot of times people stay in the same job that they hate because they don’t want to move, but think of the opportunities that can be open to you if you keep all your options open and don’t restrict yourself to living in the same place forever.
You can copy and print this complete article for your personal use, or pass it along to someone that you know might benefit. Just be sure to include the following information without altering anything please:
(c) 2008 Pam Robertson, MVPi. Pam is a Career and Life Success Consultant who helps people to create lives and work that are worth celebrating. She is based in Nova Scotia, Canada and can be reached at 902.222.9212 or by email to pam(at)mvpi(dot)org. For more information you can also visit her website.