Managing a career is almost as time consuming as the actual career. But, it is incredibly valuable that you become your own biggest advocate in building and growing your career, and owning your trajectory. For many, it is challenging to manage their careers because it could involve stepping out of your comfort zone. However, as we’ve heard for many years, success is just outside your comfort zone. It is critical that you become your own biggest fan and advocate because, no one else will.
To grow a career, you must have a plan, be flexible and execute against it. But, what I see that kills a lot of advancement are the basics. People will have a plan, but they will likely do one of these five things that end up sabotaging their career advancement. Don’t let that be you!
1. Clamming up
Countless initiatives are happening at your company right now that are important to leadership. Being on those teams are how you get on leadership’s radar to advance your career. But, if you are consistently head down at your desk and not asking questions, you will never know what’s going to get you on that radar. To grow, you need to ask about what’s going on at the company and what’s important to the company. If you are simply not asking about new initiatives, projects, and goals, you will never be able to make a grab to be involved in these career-critical events.
Dr. Suess had it right; no one wins in the waiting place. Don’t live in the waiting place. Don’t overthink timing. Be ambitious. Now, I’m not advocating that, in your first three months on the job, you ask for a promotion or raise. What I am saying is, if you hear about an opportunity at work that is interesting, don’t wait, ask someone you trust about the opportunity and take ownership. No one in the company, including your manager, is responsible for managing your career, that’s your job. When you take it seriously, you don’t wait for the next thing, you seek it out. Be an active advocate in your success.
3. Not documenting
When you work, you must have a record of your accomplishments and you must keep track of it. When you develop or deliver something that is a boon to the company, document it. Save it somewhere Google Drive, CredHive, Dropbox, anywhere, but save it. The key here is that if you are not documenting your accomplishments, you have nothing to show or share come review time to prove your case. But, when you do store all of your best work in one spot and you go into that review, you look like a rock star who knows what they have accomplished and what they want to do next.
4. Networking in fits and starts
The awesome thing about social is that it has opened up a lot of avenues to learn about people like never before. And one thing that everyone has noticed about people is that when they are unhappy at work, they get really active on social. More connections, endorsements, skills, recommendations. And guess what, everyone knows what you are doing. And this is a big mistake and one quick way to get on the list of flight risks.
Instead, spend a little time each week building your network wisely. When you do this on a consistent cadence, it raises fewer red flags and just makes you look like someone who is actively growing their network to build more connections to advance their knowledge and skills. Not oh, no, Linda is unhappy, she is connecting with recruiters left and right and has added 50 new skills this week. Don’t be Linda.
5. Not networking at all
Your professional network is there for a reason: to help you grow your career along side you. These resources are people in your industry who probably have some shared passion with you. When you fail to network, you fail to grow. Your network should be full of mentors and protégés. And you need to spend time building and cultivating these relationships. Trust me, your network is presented with great opportunities all the time and the best connections are ones that trust you enough to refer those opportunities your way. When you fail to network, you miss out.
Did I miss any? What do you think? What do you think is holding you back from owning your career trajectory?
This post was originally published on 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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