Build the Career You Deserve

You deserve a career you really want.  Many professionals are waiting for their boss to make their career happen.  Big mistake.  You might be lucky enough to have a boss who cares about you and helps you advance your career, but most people don’t.  Make your career success your responsibility.

You can’t wish your boss into becoming the leader you want, but you can become the boss you wish you had.  Being the boss you wish you had is the fastest way I know to becoming that leader.  Leaders get promoted.

Here’s 5 actions to take to advance your career:

Get clear on your identity within the organization.  Take action on what your boss hinted at in your last performance appraisal.  Many bosses are not direct because they don’t want to upset you, but I bet they gave you a hint about what you need to improve.  If they have not been direct, ask for feedback and make necessary changes. Assume others are not aware of the changes you’ve made, so make those changes overt. Tell people who can impact your career, “I’ve received _________ feedback. As a result, I’ve made ___________ changes. I’d really appreciate your continued feedback on the changes I’ve made and other changes I need to make.”

Build the right relationships.  Find out who can influence your future opportunities.  Get to know them and what they care about.  Ask an influential person to mentor you in a specific area.  Consider if you need to build or rebuild trust with them.  Trust is based on character and competence.  Show up strong in both domains.

Improve your reputation in areas it has been damaged.  You might need to say to a coworker, “Our relationship has been strained.  I would really like a good working relationship with you. If you’d be willing to have lunch or coffee with me and talk about what has gone on, and perhaps we can start anew, I’d really appreciate that.”

Tell people who can influence your career what you want to do.  Don’t assume people know what you want to do in the future. In fact, assume others have no idea about the work you want to do and the things you want to learn. Tell people, “I’m really interested in learning more about ___________. I’d like exposure to __________ part of our organization.”

Show you are serious about your career by enrolling in training.  Make it clear that you’re capable of either doing or learning what you aspire to do.  Take action.

I will offer a training series through the Larimer Country Workforce Center called “Becoming a Highly Successful Manager – Essential Skills for Supervisors.”  Is starts February 19th.  If you live in Colorado, I would love for you to join me.  To register, go to http://larimerworkforce.org/workshops/business-workshops-and-roundtables/

Your career is your responsibility. Don’t wait for the right boss to make your career happen. Take matters into your own hands. Follow the steps above and build the career you deserve.

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