Here are three keys to help you manage your career progression. If you have never thought about the need to manage your career progression, it is definitley time to take it seriously and these three tips will help you get started. As I like to say choose your destiny before it chooses you.
Essential #1: Know yourself.
If you use someone else’s definition of success as a career goal, you may end up in a situation that impresses others but makes you miserable. So what’s most important to you? Where is your passion? What do you most enjoy doing at work? How do you want work to fit in with your life as a whole?
When you clearly understand your values and interests, you are able to define what success means to you.
Essential #2: Know your strengths.
How do you shine on the job? What knowledge or skills are you known for? What accomplishments set you apart from the pack?
Successful careers are built on leveraging strengths, not shoring up weaknesses.
When you understand your talents and limitations, you are better prepared to align your unique skills with what an employer needs. This self-awareness also helps you strategically shape your learning and development to support your career interests and sustain your marketability in today’s evolving workplace.
Essential #3: Know your options.
Where is the market for your knowledge, enthusiasm and skills? How can you help deliver on your organization’s business strategy? How is your industry changing? Where could you make a difference with your experience and transferrable skills?
How can you get there? Through a promotion or a lateral move? A special project or reshaping of your current job?
Often the best place for your next career move is within your organization. Talk with your manager. Take a colleague or two out to lunch to learn more about what they do. Check out your organization’s career development resources. Most important, think broadly about “work” not “position” or “job.” No doubt your organization has plenty of important work that needs to be done.
These principles hold true when you look outside your employer and even your industry. Stay abreast of local or industry news. Find out what friends and neighbors do. Network, network, network – to learn what’s out there.
Bottom line: If you understand what matters to you, what you offer and where you can make a difference for an employer, you’ll be better able to make the right choices for your career – and also position yourself as the right person to get the work done.