When it Comes to Managing Your Career, if You Don’t Do it, Who Will?
Leadership trainers and executive coaches generally agree…controlling the trajectory of your career requires your attention. Oh sure, they will say your career will “happen” with or without your personal attention. It won’t stand still, and neither will you. But, circumstances outside of your control, such as changes in management, corporate mergers, economic conditions, industry trends-all affect your career.
It’s an unfortunate reality that, unless you personally take ownership of actively managing your career in ways that can move it in the direction you desire, things won’t progress as you would like. You may have fallen into the malaise of thinking that if you perform well, your career will take care of itself.
Okay, now’s the time for a reality check! …don’t think “good performance” is all it takes to advance. And, don’t assume management “has your back.”
When it comes to yours, YOU have to drive your own bus. Don’t relinquish control of the steering wheel to “fate” or “others”. If your career is your lifeblood, treat it as such. Ask yourself, “would I be willing to turn over my bank account to someone else to manage as they like?” Of course you wouldn’t. So, why would you allow someone else to manage your career?
An article in psychologytoday.com entitled Manage Your Career before it Manages You: 10 Tips offered sage advice in how to successfully manage yours.
1. Take responsibility.
Basically, as mentioned before, you have to be responsible for your own career management
2. Realize, other people are constantly judging you.
Not to be paranoid about it, but realize each interaction on-the-job results in a subtle judgement of your capabilities
3. Identify those strengths.
Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. It’s those strength’s that will open doors of new opportunities.
4. Forget the workaholic approach.
Don’t think working more will make your career advance. Seek balance between work and play
5. Identify your values.
Be true to your own values and live them. Understand how your interactions are affecting others around you.
6. Listen more and talk less.
Discipline yourself to listen more and talk less.
7. Always keep engaged.
Should you be laid off, find a volunteer job asap that will put your knowledge and attitude to work immediately. This will keep your confidence and energy up while looking for the next job.
8. Show interest in others.
Your knowledge doesn’t impress others if they don’t think you care about them.
9. Over deliver!
Promise conservatively, but always over deliver.
10. Seek out mentors
Every successful person had a mentor along the way that inspired them. Find yours.
In short, you have more control over your career than you may realize. It’s yours to take and you will like the result when you start managing it!
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