While it seems managing our careers is just another thing we need to do in our already busy lives, the reality is, that like ourselves, our careers are hopefully always evolving and our salaries growing!
That said, it can be difficult to ensure we are focusing on the right areas for developing our expertise and our career growth. Review the 17 areas below and take note of what you are doing that is aligned, and of the areas you need to create an action plan for improving over the next six months.
- PERFORM efficiently those job responsibilities which will help your boss the most.
- FIND OUT what your boss regards as good performance in your job role. It may differ from your current opinion.
- MASTER your position as quickly as possible and pass your knowledge onto another person. This will prevent lack of suitable successors stopping your next internal job move chances.
- LEARN to like yourself and value all the talents, attributes and experiences you bring. Put yourself into the spotlight so others can see, respect and take notice of you.
- STEP OUTSIDE the confines of your position description responsibilities; make sure your actions are regarded as constructive initiatives—not just attention seeking.
- DON’T accept a job move if the role involves a lot of responsibilities you don’t like. We all perform better when doing things we enjoy and using skills which we prefer to use.
- EXPAND opportunities for those in influential positions to learn more about you by achieving success in outside work activities such as in community service organisations and/or personal development studies.
- IDENTIFY a well-regarded person in a senior position where you work who could be a potential sponsor and who you could seek career advancement advice.
- SUGGEST thoroughly prepared recommendations—not criticisms—for problems within your employment environment.
- DEVELOP your skills at interpersonal relationships; accept the fact that ‘office politics’ exist; re-examine your personal values regularly so that when faced with ethical dilemmas at work you will know what to do without procrastination.
- RECOGNISE that ability alone will not advance your career—persistence, hard work, careful planning and being seen as personally ambitious, but an effective team worker, will.
- SMILE a lot. Others notice and favour people with happy but conscientious dispositions. The despondent people are often regarded as too risky to move to new positions.
- ENSURE you have a good variety of interests outside work to prevent stress of your efforts bringing you hard.
- PRACTISE self-nomination. Don’t wait to be offered new job roles. Let it be known the role/s you want and present your case for why you’re the best candidate.
- PLAN for more than one career path. Ensure you develop skills and knowledge for different directions for your career development and eligibility for them.
- CHANGE employers after you have done the research and looked at your options objectively. Accept a new position factoring in everything from pay, to developing new knowledge, career repositioning, education and so on.
- NEGOTIATE your salary whenever opportunities arise such as performance review and salary review time. In the event your employer does not arrange these, be sure to schedule them directly once a year at a minimum.
Actions: Take note of which of the 17 steps you have chosen to work on developing. It is recommended that you don’t choose more than 4.
- List which four have you chosen.
- What help will you require and from who in order to accomplish these improvements?
- Document a plan for implementing these changes over the next 6 months.
About the Author
Kelly Magowan is a certified Career Coach and has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space. Kelly has been working in the arena of Human Resource Management, Recruitment and Career and Executive Coaching for over 17 years. Initially focusing on commercial recruitment, and later moving into corporate Human Resources working with Ernst & Young and General Electric. Since 2012 Kelly has been working part time at Melbourne Business School as a Careers Consultant assisting the Senior Executive MBA students, MBA Students and Alumni in securing their next rewarding role and/or embarking on a new career. In addition she continues to successfully grow her own Careers Consultancy and speak on the topic of Salary Negotiation for Women. In addition she is the author of ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’.