Ten tips to managing your career
At some point in our working life, we may feel that managing our own career path is out of our hands.
We let ourselves believe that it’s the boss or organisational structures that get in the way of our progress. In the 21st century however, the onus of securing your own progression has shifted immensely and this can be a good thing. You’re smart, you got the job so it is reasonable to assume that you can be in charge of managing your career, isn’t it?
You are the catalyst for your career development and, when you do it wholeheartedly with the right frame of mind, you will be able to manage your career progression lifelong. Here’s how:
Goals: Know your goal or vision. Take some time to reflect on your skills, responsibilities and development so far. What else do you want, is it achievable, if so how and what is your timescale?
Commitment: Commit to your goals and review this every six months at least to ensure you are on track. Talk to your line manager. If you are, great; if not, ask yourself, what you could do differently or what do you want to be different. Then address it.
Record: Keep a record of your skills, key achievements and positive feedback now and as they develop for use at appraisals, conversations with seniors and for your own motivation. Share appropriate news with the right people.
Observe: Observe what is going on in your organisation in relation to learning and development. Is there a structure, gap or timeline that allows you to see that you have a path or can create one?
Mentors: Talk to colleagues more senior to yourself. Ask them about their career progress, their history and what they like about their job. Make friends with them. Could they be your mentor?
Knowledge: Show interest with your knowledge about the company and industry combined with curiosity as to where the business is going. Read between the lines if necessary. Ask for a coffee date. Find something to go in with as a point of interest, perhaps a project they worked on or a contract they drew up. Talk!
Behaviour: Be positive, proactive, assertive and friendly when talking to others around you especially those who are in charge of career development. Be visible. Make noise.
Connect: Find similarities with one or two more senior executives or directors on a level beyond work. Do you share an interest in the same football, cricket or rugby team or a love for theatre, golf or cookery? Could you enjoy a match or class together?
Network: Network internally and externally. It is essential to start networking in your career as early as possible. If suitable in your line of work, inform your boss that you’d like to take a potential client or business partner to lunch but understand the purpose of such an engagement.
Engage: Offer to organise and participate in events, seminars and workshops even if it takes you beyond your day job hours. Suggest a joint marketing event with an external provider, supplier, client or trainer which brings the two closer together.
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About Anita Gohil-Thorp
Anita is a passionate advocate of coaching. She has been described by clients as “focused, extremely effective, professional, insightful, aspiring and supportive”. Her extensive experience of working with people at all levels, combined with her coaching skills, enables her to deliver transformative coaching with focus on sustaining that growth.… Read more
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