You’re responsible for your career. Your manager is only responsible for your output. That’s why you can’t wait until the time of your annual review to look at your career goals and accomplishments.
Here are ten things you can do now and for the rest of this year to improve your career.
Regularly Set Small Goals
The annual review focuses mainly on your goals for the year. A year can seem like a long time. It may seem too long to set achievable, tangible goals. That’s why you need to set smaller goals during the year.
Consider your daily work. How can you evaluate your work? What skills can you learn that can help you advance in your career? Give these questions some thought and make a list of goals that might relate to the answers.
After you’ve set your goals, create a deadline. When you reach the deadline, score your work. Give yourself a grade. Yes, grade yourself. Seriously, this works.
Were you able to reach the goal? Did you learn the new skill? Are you able to do the work well? Ask someone to score you on these new skills. After you’ve checked that goal off your list. Start with a new one.
Some smart people have said that success is there, just outside of your comfort zone. So, if you want to achieve the success, you have to stretch yourself past your area of expertise. You need to do the things that scare you.
If you don’t like public speaking, you can sign up to give a presentation at a local networking event. Are you terrified to put your thoughts on the industry out there? Ask someone to let you guest post. If something gives you the collywobbles, go sign up for it.
Self-assessment is important. It’s also important to get regular feedback. At the end of each meeting I ask the following questions: “What would have made this meeting even better?” and “What worked for you?”
You can learn a lot by asking these questions. You can glean important information about your work performance and product from these two questions. Try it and see what you discover.
Curate Your Work
Do you know how many great things you’ve done so far this year? If you’re like many people, you probably don’t because most people don’t curate their work in a way that they can revisit it. There are many places you can store your work in the cloud.
Use cloud storage programs like OneDrive, Dropbox, or CredHive to curate your work. Producing a great file of work that you’re proud of, it’s like a resume as you go. You can easily share this file with your manager during your review. Having this information curated allows you to be prepared to wow them with this visual proof of your awesomeness.
Spend some time each week learning about your company and industry. Study your company and industry like you’re a student with an approaching final exam.
Ask the people in your space questions? Question your colleagues and managers. Talk to your customers to see how they feel. Develop a thoughtful insight about the company and your industry. Then, share those insights with others. Don’t be shy.
Spend some time reading books on your profession. Regularly read blogs of all sizes. Find business books that make you think. At the end of the day, you just need to read.
By reading new things, you can start conversations when networking that can help you build your career. You’ll learn new ways to do things and various career and life hacks that can make things run much more smoothly.
Never send standard LinkedIn invites. Never. This can’t be stressed enough. Personalize the message you send. You want to tell the recipient what you need from them, but you also want to say how you can help them.
If you don’t know someone, ask a person in your network for your introduction. If your network brilliantly, you will leave a positive impression.
Don’t just network on LinkedIn; you should also attend local and industry events and meet as many people as possible. This can help you become more curious about your industry which can spur the growth of your career.
Get a Mentor
A mentor or career consultant is a great resource for all of these elements. They can give you feedback. They can offer insights into your company or industry. They can even show you ways to stretch. Your career consultant can help you with each step involved in improving your career. If you’re interested in this approach then career maybe try consulting services by Arielle Careers
Get a Protege
A good protege is also a valuable resource. You can learn from them. They can help you bust through some of your paradigms.
A protege can also expose you to new ways of presenting yourself. They can also help you learn new ways to thinking and looking at things which can help you solve problems.
ABL (Always Be Listening)
If you’re happy in your current role, it’s useful to build a relationship with people in your industry and listen for other opportunities.
The relationships you build can grow. You never know which path you’ll take in the future. Be open to new people and opportunities and remember it always feels good to get noticed.