Everyone wants to go to a job they love every day, build a successful career, and live a better life. However, achieving this goal isn’t always easy.
Careers can be complicated! Sometimes we choose the wrong careers. Sometimes we grow out of our careers, and sometimes we just don’t know how to properly grow our careers and set ourselves up for success.
I want to help you get on the right path so that you can confidently feel like you’re a master at your career. You’ll have to put the work in, but you’ll at least know that you’re on the right track by following these six simple steps.
- Know Your Career Strategy: Where are you at in your career? Are you looking for a job? Making a career change? Looking for a promotion? Your career strategy ultimately depends on where you are at in your career. Once you’re honest about that, you can build a strategy around your personal circumstances. It doesn’t matter where you are at in your career if you don’t have a strategy, you’re basically wandering around blindfolded.
- Know What Value You Provide: Stop thinking of yourself as an employee. You are a business of one that provides value to an employer. This goes back to having a career strategy. By knowing the value you provide, you can better understand how you fit into your current role or sell yourself to a new employer. By understanding the value you provide, you can also put together a plan to build out and expand your value.
- Build A Strong Network: Even the most successful people need help from time to time. The fact is, no one reaches the pinnacle of their careers without the help of a strong professional network. These are the people that will refer you to job opportunities and can vouch for your skill sets and the value that you provide.
Professional networks include a diverse amount of people, but at the very least, your network should include some mentors that helped to shape your career, former colleagues that you came up with that have seen your career grow, and former managers and supervisors that can vouch for you as an employee.
- Make Sure You’re Not The Weakest Link: It’s great to have goals but sometimes you have to do a reality check and ask yourself “Am I providing the value that I say am?” If not, you really need to evaluate your role and determine if your teammates value you as much as you do them, otherwise, you could be your team’s weakest link. A few signs that you’re the team’s weakest link include, not being assigned any new job responsibilities, your teammates don’t ask for advice or help, and coworkers that started after you are being promoted. If you are the weakest link, own up to it and set a meeting with your boss. Tell your boss how you want to increase your contributions, and put together a plan for doing so. You should also put more effort into providing value to your coworkers.
- Keep A Positive And Productive Mindset: As you work to grow your career the last thing you need is negativity and career-limiting mentalities. These mentalities include:
- Overthinker: Someone who spends too much time thinking about the risk in any opportunity, that they don’t act or accomplish anything.
- One-track-minder: A person so set on a goal or a certain way of doing things, that they fail to consider other opportunities or options.
- All-talker: The person that always talks about their career and career plans, but never acts.
- Open-roadster: Someone who doesn’t have a career plan and feels that fate will guide them.
- Always Be Proactive: Whether you’re looking for your next opportunity or building on your current one, you can’t assume that things will magically come together for you. You have to put in the work! Being proactive means constantly taking advantage of opportunities to advance your skills, properly using LinkedIn and staying in contact with your network, and constantly working on your personal brand, to name a few things. It comes down to always finding a way to take action on your career.
P.S. Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help
These six steps are a great guide for getting on track, but we can’t always do these things alone. It’s OK to ask for help! Whether it’s asking for advice from a trusted colleague or mentor or seeking the help of a career coach, sometimes you just need a little assist in trying to get to where you want to go.
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