Perhaps you have been passed over for promotion not knowing why. Or maybe you know what is holding you back, but you simply don’t know how to make the changes necessary to move forward. You are probably working hard, doing a great job, yet frustrated with the lack of career progression or opportunity. Here’s the bottom-line, you may not be realizing your fullest career potential and that is costing you money, frustration, stress, credibility, or that future promotion.
Here are 3 things you need to know to realize your career potential:
1. Know your value. Start with an honest look at yourself. Engage others who know you to assist you by providing their honest feedback as well. List all your strengths. What are you really good at doing? What do you typically get recognized or praised for? What are you known for? What are your major accomplishments? What comes really easy to you? How have you added value to your job or company? Now summarize your findings into 3-4 key strengths by writing it all down. Make sure to include real life examples for each strength you have identified. Once you have clearly identified and written your key strengths and examples of each, commit them to memory so you can easily recite them when asked.
2. Have a career plan. One of my favorite sayings is “when you don’t have a clear vision; any road will get you there”. It explains why after working for 10, 20 or even 30 years, people wonder how they ended up doing what they are doing, and often not enjoying their career. A career plan is a blueprint for success. A career plan provides you with direction and movement. However, it isn’t a guarantee for success. A career plan helps you make the right choices on your career journey so that each step of the way you have confidence in what you are doing; nurturing your strengths and developing your competencies. A good career plan will consider career goals and aspirations, lifestyle, location, financial security, retirement, personal and career values. It will also identify development or experience gaps. No matter where you are in your career currently, at the start of your career or perhaps nearing the end and thinking about retirement, you need a plan.
3. Invest in yourself. You can no longer rely on your employer to prepare you for your next promotion. Training budgets are often the first to get cut when expenses are under attack. And in today’s marketplace, employers hire/promote people who are ready to “hit the deck running” rather than hiring “potential”. So the responsibility to perform and to ramp up quickly is left to the employee. What are you doing to ensure you are fully ready to take on more responsibility or that coveted promotion? If you have already identified competency or experience gaps as part of your career plan, what are you doing to close those gaps? It could mean going back to school either part time or full time to get formal training or education. It could take the form of volunteer experience to strengthen or obtain experience that may otherwise not be available to you in your workplace. Alternatively, taking a sideways move may provide you with the missing skills you need to make yourself the ideal candidate. In addition, consider hiring a professional coach to assist you in identifying and closing your gaps, developing a career plan or simply supporting you on your career journey.
Whether you are at the start of your career, mid way through your career, or at the tail end of your career, there is hope for career advancement with some planning and focus.
If you are would like more information or support regarding how to prepare for your next promotion or to accelerate your career, contact Linda at email@example.com or 416-617-0734.
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