Becoming CEO Of Your Career
Gone are the days where you started your career, got a couple of promotions, and retired knowing you did some good work along the way. Today’s workplace is a whole lot more volatile and filled with uncertainty. In this environment, companies are focused on surviving and maximizing profit and the responsibility for a fulfilling career falls on the employees themselves.
That’s why we’re going to explore three actionable ways to contribute to your own career fulfillment:
1. Take Charge of Your Career. The first step towards a fulfilling career is personal career empowerment. Many employees expect their boss to empower them and help direct their careers. Big mistake, because when that doesn’t happen, you remain stagnant and unfulfilled, surrounded by a sea of dead career goals and possibilities. Your advancement and fulfillment don’t lie in the hands of your boss or anyone else for that matter. These rest entirely with you and now’s the perfect time to take ownership!
If you already know your boss is bad news, how about redirecting some of that energy from complaining and wishing things were different to getting clear on what you want and what steps will get you there. Commit to becoming the CEO of your career.
Develop Your Skills
It’s impossible to take charge of your career without taking your professional development seriously. Develop your hard skills, soft skills, technical skills, communications skills, and above all, your ability to collaborate with others. A big part of the secret to a fulfilling career lives in your personal growth. However, this doesn’t happen if you don’t invest time and energy in developing your skills. Noone can take away your skills and learning, so investment in your growth pays huge career dividends and serves you for the length of your career and beyond. #alwaysbelearning!
2. Know Where Your Company Is Going (And Whether You Want To Come Along For The Ride!) It’s surprising how many employees are entirely clueless about the direction their organization is headed. It doesn’t matter if your role in the big picture is minute; you need to be aware of the vision for your company. Is it something that aligns with what you want? Do you see yourself being part of that vision years down the line? If so, what actions can you take to strategically align yourself for the opportunities that are on the horizon? If not, what actions are you taking to move to where you want to be?
Having an understanding of your company’s roadmap puts you in a position to stay tuned in to and contributing towards the corporate vision. Moreover, it’s much easier to get noticed by senior leaders when you have a clue what they’re working on and where their priorities lie.
3. Engage, Collaborate, and Contribute: Form Meaningful Connections With Others. We sometimes forget that no one travels far in life alone. In your quest to reach the top of your career, resist the urge to be exclusively focused on your own interests. It’s important to look outside yourself to form meaningful connections with others, including:
- Colleagues: The most straight-forward way to form connections with others is to take a sincere interest in what they’re doing, their sets of concerns; not so that you can be their problem-solver (although you can) but so they are reminded that they are valued.
- Subordinates: As a leader you need to foster collaboration within your team. Make their empowerment, acknowledgement, and engagement your priority. Learn what’s important to them and have honest discussions on how you can grow together as a team.
- Mentors: Find a mentor that has been where you’re trying to go and is willing to share the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Share your career intentions and let them share their own individual wisdom.
Building relationships is vital to career fulfillment. Bad bosses seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate and the volatility of 2020 hasn’t helped. Instead of allowing a bad boss to play a soul-crushing role in your career, opt to collaborate and contribute to others who are likely feeling equally stifled by the unsupportive environment and would welcome your contribution. Engaged relationships are a source of sanity and stability in an unforgiving, unrewarding, or downright toxic environment. That’s why you need to be deliberate about developing meaningful relationships with your colleagues, mentors, bosses, subordinates, and even clients. You’re setting yourself up for a fulfilling career in a way that has nothing to do with who you happen to have as boss.
WORDS TO LEAD BY:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou