Firstly, success starts with a positive and growth mindset. So, if you are going to start finding reasons why your career is not on the right track, you will surely come up with a hundred reasons, but none of them will get you anywhere.
- This is not the right place for me to work
- I don’t have a supportive boss who appreciates my work.
- My company has not invested in my learning and development
- How much ever hard work I put, only the favourites get promoted
- This environment is not conducive for my career growth
- There are no jobs available in the market
- I don’t have the time or the money to invest in my development
Did these excuses come to your mind?
Now ask yourself just one question, what have you done in the last year to shape up your career or to set yourself up for success. If you have done nothing when it’s your life, your career, then is it fair to blame the company, boss, environment, job market, etc. for it?
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten
– TONY ROBBINS
Your career is in your hands and is totally dependant on the choices you make. So, whether good or bad, you are responsible for it. If you want something to change in your career, you need to make some changes. When you start actioning things that are in your control and are in alignment with your growth, the uncontrollable factors will not matter anymore. So, take charge of your career and development, through intentional action and implement things that are within your control and influence.
- Build an effective Personal Brand
Whether you are consciously working on it or no, you are already creating a personal brand for yourself. So, it better be a good impressive one.
Every interaction in any form is branding
– SETH GODIN
Your interaction with people – physical, digital, and social, creates your brand. Personal Brand is nothing but what people say about you in your absence. It’s the credibility you build for yourself. Everything you are, say, and do represents your brand. Hence, the way you choose to show yourself professionally makes a huge difference. In today’s social media world, your potential employer has completely stalked you online and created a first impression about you before you land up for an interview. Be mindful of what you post, share, or comment on social media platforms even if it is meant only for your personal circle. Leverage LinkedIn to create a powerful professional personal brand. Your content, endorsements, and recommendation on LinkedIn speak volumes about you.
- Invest in continuous learning
Successful people are continuous learners and trust me learning never stops. What we learnt during our schooling and MBA will only take us this far. If you wish to stand apart from the rest, invest in your learning and upskilling. It is the best investment you can make for yourself.
Formal Education will make you a living, Self-Education will make you a Fortune
– Jim Rohn
Great careers don’t happen by accident, you have to build and upskill yourself for the career you aspire. Also, don’t wait for somebody to take responsibility for your learning and development. Identify skills that are required for the role you aim for and invest in upskilling to make yourself ready for it. Stay relevant, make yourself indispensable for your company, and growth and success will surely follow you.
- Find yourself good mentors
Success leaves clues. You can model successful people and learn how they have achieved their goals. If you wish to excel in any area, or a skill that you want to acquire, find yourself a mentor who is already an SME in that field.
A Mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself
– Oprah Winfrey
A good mentor will provide you a neutral perspective on your career, help you enhance your skills, and suggest ways of achieving your goals. You may choose to find a mentor in your company or outside depending on what are you trying to model and who do you look up to in that field. In my sessions, participants often ask about how to find a great mentor. And the answer is simple. When the student is ready, the master will appear. Just put yourself out there as a knowledge seeker and you will surely attract the right mentor.
- Say yes to opportunities coming your way
Prepare yourself for opportunities coming your way. Successful people do things before they know they can do it. Accept opportunities coming your way, even if you have never done that before.
The Key to Success is to Start Before You’re Ready
– MARIE FORLEO
Getting out of your comfort zone, trying something new, and taking risks is what growth is. Growth is always outside of your comfort zone!
You will have many reasons to convince yourself to back out of it. However, we need to find that one reason to conquer our fear and push ourselves to take up the challenge and learn new things. And you don’t need to have everything figured out at once. Just take the first step and learn and improvise through the journey. You don’t need to see the whole staircase, just have faith in yourself and take the first step!
It is ok to be uncomfortable in doing new things. The days you are the most uncomfortable are the days you learn the most. Don’t let yourself miss out on opportunities, only because you thought you are not ready for it yet.
- Ask for what you want
I always come across people who wait for things to happen to them or the ones who feel asking for something beyond their ego. Those who feel my work should speak for it itself and people will notice and come to me for opportunities. Well, it doesn’t always happen that way. You need to be comfortable putting yourself out there. If there is an opportunity, a project, a role that interests you, reach out to the right people, and volunteer for it. If you believe you are ready for that promotion, ask for it. When you ask for something ensure you have done thorough research and homework and are convincing enough to be the best person for it.
Don’t be one who shies away or finds it uncomfortable asking for what you deserve. Unless you ask, you will never know if it can happen and even if it can’t at least you will know why which gives you feedback on working on yourself.
If you don’t Ask, the answer will always be No
– ANKUR WARIKOO
So, don’t let your career just happen to you, ask for what you deserve, and create it.
- Network, Network, Network!
And no, I don’t just mean exchanging visiting cards at networking events. Genuinely connect with people in your area of work, engage with them, and build relationships. It can be through physical events, seminars, FB groups, LinkedIn, etc. Building a strong network is more important now than ever before. You are aware of what’s happening in your industry and also have access to excellent career opportunities that might exist for you.
When your intention is building mutually beneficial relationships, you will focus on adding value to the opposite person as much as learning from them. Nurturing relationships, cultivating your network, and building tribes have become so much easier, thanks to social media.
- Maintain an active social media presence and have a voice and opinion around current happenings.
- Leverage the power of social media groups.
- Share value-added content that might help your network
- Connect with like-minded people, join groups and participate in discussions
By far, LinkedIn remains my favourite choice for networking and engaging with people in my area of work.
Summing it up…
Your career is your responsibility. Don’t let it happen by accident. Own your career, define what success looks it and then design it. These proactive steps can surely give you a head start and I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.