Seven steps to managing your career

1. Be clear what career progression looks like in today’s world

Career progression is more than ‘steps up’ the organisational ladder. Career progression is an opportunity to gather and acquire new skills, knowledge and behaviours. Be prepared to move laterally to broaden your skill and knowledge base before considering the upward move. More and more organisations now insist on at least one sideways move before being considered for the next role up.

2. Improve self awareness

Having a real sense of your own style and behaviour can help you leverage the added value that you bring to your current and future employers. Ask yourself:
• Do you see yourself as you truly are, or, do you see yourself with a more optimistic view (rose tinted spectacles) or a more self critical view?
• Do you really know the areas in which you are truly effective and less effective?
• What motivates you?
• How receptive to feedback are you?
• Do you see yourself as others see you?
• Where are your blind spots?

3. Challenge your self-limiting beliefs

What stops you stepping out of your Comfort Zone? A self-limiting belief is something that we convince ourselves that we can’t do, without even trying to do it. Self-limiting beliefs stop us from taking a bit more risk, they stop us from experimenting with new ways of doing things and potentially they can prevent us from moving our careers forward. Challenge these beliefs and see how far you can go!

4. Be more employable today than you were 12 months ago

If you haven’t become more marketable and employable in the last 12 months, have you wasted the last year? What experience, skills and knowledge have you gained over the last year? Strive to consistently make yourself more marketable and employable.

5. Make sure your RL>RC

The minimum you should strive to achieve is to ensure that your RL (Rate of Learning) is greater than the RC (Rate of Change) that is occurring in your organisation or profession.

6. Take responsibility for managing your career

Your organisation will not, and cannot, provide you with a guaranteed career path. It is not your employer’s responsibility to manage your career, it’s yours – be more proactive and take control of your career.

7. Spot opportunities to progress your career

• What is happening in your ‘market place’?
• What trends, themes and patterns are emerging?
• What are the implications for your organisation?
• What skills, knowledge and behaviours do you need to develop to be ready for these potential changes?
• What roles, projects or secondments might provide you with exposure to these potential changes?
• How can you grow your current role to gain experience that might be useful in the future?

All these are useful questions that might help you open doors rather than wait for doors to open!