Here Comes Success: 10 Career Tips to Kick Off 2012
Whether you are starting your career, looking for a new position, trying to make a career-switch or just working toward a promotion, there are certain steps you must take to optimize your chances of success. Career growth doesn’t happen on its own. Just as you likely managing many programs or campaigns at work, so too must you “project manage” your career. These tips will help you do precisely that in 2012:
1. Take responsibility. You are the only one responsible for your career. There might be people who can help you, but you must take the lead.
2. Have a career strategy. There may be “bumps” along the way, but you won’t get anywhere if your don’t know what you really want to do. Once you have your long-term goal, where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years? Think about it and then document it.
3. Your goals vs. company’s goals. Ask yourself whether your goals align with the company’s vision and objectives. If they don’t, ask yourself how you can align the two.
4. Know your client. It’s not your work, it is work being done for the client. Whether internal or external, know your client and their needs. Meet them, talk to them and listen to them.
5. Listen, present, write. Communication skills are invaluable. We all excel at some and not at others. Identify the skills that need help and work on them. Practice, take a class, join a group.
6. Be a team-player. In today’s environment, working on a team is essential. It also is a great way to learn, meet people, and produce even better work. Be open to working with a team and seek out ways to do it.
7. Be multi-functional. Grow your skills in as many areas as possible. You will learn new things, develop new skills, increase your network and build your career worth.
8. Volunteer to develop your skills. If your long-term goals call for skills you don’t currently have, develop them. Volunteer for projects, work with non-profits or ask for specific opportunities. Don’t forget your long-term goals.
9. Look into job pals. Create or add to your team. Mentors are important, as are the pals who can push you along.
10. Network, network, network. This doesn’t mean contacting people when you are out of work. Networking is a life-long job. It’s about role models, mentors, friends. It’s about getting your name and expertise out all the time … even when you already have a job you are happy with.
Make your own list of career goals and review it once a month. Are you doing everything you could be doing or are you letting things slide? Now is the time to get back on track.