When I started my career, I found myself in a job that I was looking forward to being promoted to. But when I applied for positions above mine, I was invited to a meeting with my boss, who told me in a few words to stop worrying about advancement and focus only on the job I had. It made me realize that I was in an organization that would not be transparent about my growth and that I would have to take responsibility for progressing myself.
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I took his advice and focused. I focused on the job I wanted to have next, and began to develop my skills and take on the tasks I would have in that role. Not only did I find more ways to get involved at work, but I started taking on clients as a part-time technical consultant. I've never felt more invigorated or passionate about my work than when I was consulting, which finally allowed me to take the leap into running my IT managed services business full-time.
Part of the challenge of being a young professional is goal setting, figuring out where you want to go next. But goal setting is often hampered by companies (and individuals) that rely too heavily on job titles, forcing people to separate the work they might be doing into two categories:my job and not my job . Such segregation is dangerous – both in small, growing businesses and in larger, established organizations – because how to avoid getting stuck in one role, especially in these well-defined environments, is a question that becomes more difficult to answer. answer the more limits are placed on your productivity, whether those limits are externally imposed or self-imposed.
Here are my tips for working for the job you want, not just the job you have :
1. Cultivate a proactive outlook to accelerate your career.
Despite what you may have heard of millennials, 80% of them say they would rather work at the same company for much of their career. But if that's true, why do nearly half of young professionals say they want to quit their current job?
Most of us face this conundrum:we don't want to do a job-hop, but we struggle to see how to progress in our current roles. This is a problem because if we don't see ourselves growing, we will have to compare ourselves to others and compete for salaries instead of considering company culture, benefits and potential skills we could acquire in each role. successive.
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Yet, and while it can sometimes seem like employers enjoy rigid and specific role definitions, many companies are moving away from overly specialized roles and putting more emphasis on emphasizing the recognition of employees who can take on a number of tasks that contribute to the success of the company. The key is for employees to get out of that “role specific” mindset and focus on how they can motivate and maximize their value to their team.
Using your current role to understand, define and qualifying for your next job – whether inside or outside of your company – you can begin to take control of your professional destiny.
2. Practice good goal setting to identify skill gaps.
I know everyone tells you to set goals, but there's a reason for that. If you don't see progress, you'll quit much sooner than expected.
In this case, the goal-setting process will also help you define the skills and job responsibilities you want to achieve. Research job descriptions or talk to other people at work to identify the skills and responsibilities you might need to advance. Then make an honest assessment of your own skills and deficits. As Randy Milanovic of Kayak Online Marketing points out, honestly assessing your own strengths and weaknesses and asking those around you for help can help you identify how external factors like classes or opportunities create a path for growth.
Once you have a good list of areas to pursue, you can set reasonable goals for the next quarter. Are there courses on learning sites that will help you gain a foundation for more advanced projects? Are there any local community college courses you can enroll in? Start your search by focusing on a few simple tasks, like taking an HTML coding course or participating in two additional team projects. After three months, review the work done, then set more goals accordingly. This process will help you focus on what you need to do to succeed and push you to grow.
3. Adopt a "how can I help?" attitude and stick to your word.
Coming into work every day and asking yourself how you can help will provide two main benefits:you will be exposed to new projects and tasks, and you will develop a greater sense of satisfaction and positivity about your career.
Related: My Top 10:Best Career Advice I've Received As people accept the offer of help, you'll begin to formulate which career areas you like and which ones you prefer do not occupy full time. It will also help you determine which of these skill gaps can be filled internally as you engage with others and help them with their projects. We all want careers that match our passions and skills, but there are some passions and skills you probably haven't discovered yet.
Once you master your own opportunities for growth, you'll gain the confidence to try more things, both at work and outside of the office.
The second effect is that you will stop feeling limited in the work you have. Once you master your own opportunities for growth, you'll gain the confidence to try more things, both at work and outside of the office. You'll also start to find the flexibility and learning environment you crave, mostly because you're going to create it.
Most importantly, once you start helping others, be sure to respect the deadlines, keeping your promises and leaving all meetings with a complete list of tasks for which you are responsible. The fastest way to boost your professional reputation is to not deliver for the people who rely on you. Having a good system for tracking projects, deadlines, and deliverables can help you avoid this. I suggest Asana, Basecamp, or OneNote as potentially useful software, but finding out what other team members are already using may be your best lesson. Overall, improving your time management and creating a reliable system to balance larger workloads helps you become reliable and shows that you are ready to take on more responsibility.
4. Strive to communicate openly with team members and managers.
Most organizations are not deliberately obtuse about career paths. If you are unhappy with the level of communication in your work environment, change it. Find an appropriate way to let your boss know that certain expectations aren't being met or to let them know if you think something is unfair. Introducing more avenues or tools of communication and becoming a self-improvement leader will make you invaluable to your long-term manager.
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Don't let fear keep you from communicating openly, either. Many employees don't feel their voice will be heard if they say, "Others in my role and with my experience earn X dollars." You may even feel let down if you try to express this. But before you abandon any efforts for a raise or promotion and a jump ship, find a way to raise your concerns with your supervisor at least once, by doing so diplomatically. If you never ask, you'll never know, and I've found that most organizations would rather keep someone valuable than start over and train a brand new employee. Also, if you are a manager, look for ways to create an open and transparent dialogue.
5. Look for ways to help others grow.
You don't have to wait to get into a management role before you start developing your mentoring skills. Just because you're not officially above someone on an org chart doesn't mean you can't help that co-worker grow. The best managers help those below them learn skills and become more confident, increasing their abilities and helping them achieve more. This type of servant leadership is easily practiced by teammates, not just bosses.
Mentoring also has many personal benefits. Learning to listen, to creatively approach problems or explanations, or to work with people who are different from you are all important leadership skills you will need to progress. The key to great mentorship is to focus on helping those around you solve problems or develop new skills, which will take creativity, patience and often thought on your part. /P>
Only you can dictate where your career goes, so take the lead in determining your professional future and be bold in its pursuit.
Only you can dictate where your career goes, so take the lead in determining your professional future and be bold in its pursuit. You don't need a specific title or express permission to improve, but neither should you expect that extra work to result in a pay rise or immediate recognition. You do these things to move you forward, and by focusing on your long-term goals and measuring your incremental steps toward them, you'll find your passion, reap more job satisfaction, and ultimately take the next step.
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