10 Strategies to Accelerate Your Career SuccessCategory: Personal Development
Leanna Cruz – Editorial Director
Regardless of the kind of work you do, your workplace has changed radically during the past five years, and will continue to change during the next five years. It may seem that the best thing to do is sit back and wait until things settle before planning your next career move since long term planning seems futile. The truth is that this is the best time to examine options, plan career advancement and take control of your own career success.
The following are excerpts of only ten ways to accelerate your career success taken from the free report Unleash the Corporate Super Star Inside You – 100 Ways to Get Noticed, Get Promoted and Get Ahead:
Rather than falling to group think decide to confidently speak up in the face of opposition or against the prevailing view if you have experience, knowledge or evidence to the contrary. Have the courage to take a different path or view. It’s easy if you are clear about your values and principles. To strengthen your confidence and courage, speak with those who share your values and particularly those who have experienced challenging situations as a result of their convictions. Find out how they handled the challenge.
Change Your Perspective
Water cooler conversations tend to simulate cable news programs — the negative. The discussion tends to be about who or what is preventing you from reaching your goals, how inadequate resources are or how incompetent someone is. The truth is that there are not many successful individuals who have not worked hard and overcome challenges and obstacles in order to reach their goals. Take a chapter from the challenges of Richard Branson who fought British Airways when they campaigned to destroy Virgin Airline. In his plan to overcome this giant challenge he reluctantly decided to sell the business that started it all for him, Virgin Records. He won and continues to surmount challenges.
Be of Value to Others
Rather than network to find out how others can help you, listening for clues that signal that they can help you find a job, or for clues signaling how they are a potential customer or how they can connect you to a decision maker, listen instead to hear how you can help them with their business or with their career challenge. Be a connector first. People can feel when you are using your relationship with them for your gain. First do something for them, give them a good feeling when they think about you, and then make your request.
Ask for Stretch Assignments
Stretch assignments get you noticed and improve your skills and knowledge. To minimize the risk of making mistakes ensure that you are clear about the objectives and enlist help from anyone who can provide insight, information and resources. Use this as a networking opportunity and expand your reach into other departments and to leaders you would otherwise not have access.
Enhance your company profile by taking on projects where you can demonstrate initiative and achieve results quickly. Take on those that are critical to strategic initiatives important to decision makers.
Ask for Feedback
It’s easy to receive positive feedback, but you need to know your deficiencies. Ask for specific examples of opportunities for improvement, and to have them prioritized based on your career goals. Many aspiring leaders discover that their career advancement has stalled because they have not demonstrated strategic thinking abilities, executive presence, creative and innovative thinking or comfort with taking risks. Once you have determined which skills you need to develop ask for opportunities to demonstrate your ability.
Eliciting candid feedback may require active inquiry but it is essential to know what is expected from you for decision makers to award you the promotion you want.
Be a Change Agent
One of the biggest challenges organizations face is resistance to change. In the current environment companies must change or become obsolete, and so must employees. Yet the one thing leaders can count on is walls of resistance. Stand out and support the leaders who are busy developing business strategies during time of rapid change by being a change agent. Learn the details of leading change.
Learn, understand and a commit to appreciate cultural, professional and gender differences of each individual of all teams on which you are a member. The best ideas come from collaboration and input from all. Whether you are the leader or not encourage participation from each individual who may have a perspective critical to enhance the success of a project. Become a master of effective collaboration.
Create the Future
You don’t have to develop the next new gadget, but you do want to remain informed about all things that may affect your industry and be a source of ideas for new products, services or processes. Get your inspiration from challenges your colleagues, bosses or customers are having. Discuss options to eliminate the challenge or improve the process.
Turn to your network both virtual and actual for information about new trends, best practices and solutions to challenges. At minimum be a resource of information.
Know Which Strategic Initiatives are Most Important
Spend your time working on the right things rather than trying to get things right. If you have not developed your network to include leaders who are a part of the daily conversation about initiatives that are significant to current company goals, start networking. There is no point in get things right doing work that may soon be eliminated.
If You are Comfortable, Start Worrying
If your job has become routine and you find you don’t have to think to get things done, consider that technology can accomplish what you are doing, that part of your job will become automated, that an intern may come in to do your job or that it will be outsourced. Look for opportunities to develop skills and expertise in areas relevant to the future needs of the organization.
Ignore the Competition
We are in a competitive job market, but if you focus on unleashing the corporate super star inside you, you can ignore the competition.