Having a career is nothing like having a job. When you find your career, you know it, and you should be spending some level of energy managing it.
We must all start being more active in our career and its management. We must start to own our experience. And when we own our experience, and are active in the management of our career, we must do six simple things.
1. Be paid by the “yes”
We all work with people. People who need us in some way. And we need them. It is very simple. To build our careers and manage them effectively, we should be the people that are known to say “yes.” Now, I am not by any means advocating that you say “yes” to everything in your professional life. What I am saying is that when you are the person that people know say “yes” more than “no,” you set yourself up for more plum assignments. Then, down the road, you’ll get an opportunity to ask for a “yes” in return for what you need.
2. Consistently curate your work
Do you have any idea how many amazing things we do every year in our jobs? Probably not, because we aren’t curating that great work anywhere to revisit it. Our documents, spreadsheets, reports, project plans, ideas, presentations (you get the idea) just sit on a server or in the trash never to be revisited again. The miss here is that when we revisit our best work quarterly, we are better equipped to see what we are really good at and what brings us the greatest sense of accomplishment. There are countless places for you to store this work in a cloud. Check out Dropbox, CredHive, GoogleDrive or OneDrive and start curating your work.
3. Build your network
A strong network is a no-brainer in this day and age. But the hack here is to build your network all the time, not just when you are having a bad day at work or looking to change jobs. Trust me, employers notice when people start updating their profile with new skills or new connections en masse. It is considered telltale that you are unhappy at work if you suddenly update your skills and profile and add a bunch of new connections. Therefore, we need to be more active in building our network and be more consistent about it.
4. Ask for help
Finding a mentor will bring serious rewards. Want to learn a new skill? Identify a mentor and learn everything you can from them. Asking for help is a difficult skill for people because they believe it shows weakness. But, to others, it shows initiative to grow and stretch. Knowing everything can be boring, getting help, mentors, and new experiences is exciting. Be exciting – ask for help.
5. Always answer the door
Opportunity will knock throughout your burgeoning career – open the door. Even if you are really happy in your current role, it never hurts to listen to other opportunities and build relationships with new people. These relationships may go nowhere, but you never know how you will cross paths in the future. Always be open to new opportunities and people, plus it is a nice ego boost to get noticed.
When you do answer the door, always ask how you were found so you can continue to build your profile on that channel. And if the position is not for you, try to connect them with someone who might be a fit. Paying it forward never hurt anyone.
6. Schedule time to do this
Lastly, and most importantly by far, schedule time to do all of these things. Put them on your calendar. Make a note once a month to save your best work into the cloud. Put an event on your calendar weekly to revisit your network. But by all means, make these hacks a priority in your career. You will not regret the time you spend managing your professional career.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
About the author
With passion and an innate curiosity, Tracey strives to push the envelope to create great experiences for talent. Tracey has been developing digital, mobile and social solutions for nearly 20 years in the talent acquisition space. Currently CredHive’s CEO, she is dedicated to changing the way hiring is done to create a more level playing field for talent. Visit CredHive to learn more.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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