With today’s hyper-competitive, continually disrupted market, there is an expectation to thrive amid chaos. Management and consumer expectations, it seems are zooming higher and higher, creating a feeling of never doing enough.
However, allowing this press of expectations to create a head-down mentality can overwhelm your personal career goals and advancement if you allow it. While bringing your best self to your current job is important, it is equally crucial to proactively nurture and maintain a healthy career that you can look forward to, despite the winds of change.
Here are eight things you can start doing now to ensure you are prepared for any and all eventualities.
1. Identify your next-step career goal. Do you want to make a lateral move? If you love what you do and want to ensure continued opportunities in a similar role, then that’s great. Or, perhaps you would like to perform a similar role but in a different industry. Or, maybe you want to break through to the next level supervisor or management role, tapping into recent experiences and achievements directing people or teams. Perhaps even, you are seeking out a wholly different career – a big change. Make note of this and define what that role looks like. Bottom line, being clear on your destination for the next chapter of your career is critical for getting there.
2. Define what you love. Do you love solving complex problems, authoring reports, planning logistics, working with customers face to face, multi-tasking, going deep and wide into long projects, working solitarily or collaborating in teams? The list goes on, but keep thinking and then prioritizing the details of initiatives and skills you continually want to leverage in your next role. List your top 10, and then narrow that further into your top five favorite areas of skills focus.
3. Define what you dislike. No job is perfect, and there always will be aspects that are boring or tedious. However, by identifying those aspects that you find least favorable, you can better attract the right-fit role and steer away from those positions that are least fitting for your personality.
For example, even if you perform well in a customer facing role, this doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy it. If continual customer engagement depletes and exhausts you, you may be more suited to a behind-the-scenes role.
4. Enroll in training and development. If the target role you have identified requires skills, abilities and/or experiences that you have not acquired, then seek to fill the gap. If company sponsored training is available, tap into it. If not, invest in yourself, devoting both the time and money necessary to get up to speed so that you can move into the next role more smoothly, with the proper credentials.
Next week I will finish the second half of 8 Ways to Be Proactive Verses Reactive in Your Career.
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice
Rick has been a career consultant for over 20 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.
Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.