Posted onin Leadership/Management
Come June each year, I like to take a few moments to reflect not only on the year so far but on how my career is going. And if you’re like me, you’ll also be thinking about the sorts of things you still want to accomplish. I say it to my own staff all the time – you’re the architect of your own career.
You have to take the time to focus on it, to build the plans for where you want to be and identify the steps it’s going to take to get there. That’s not to say that you have to undertake it all on your own; not at all! But you do have to have a strong network and process in place that will help you with what you want to achieve. So take a few moments, sit outside in the sun (don’t forget the sunscreen!) and consider the following:
Plan your career like any other major project
Do you like what you’re doing in your career right now? We spend a lot of time at work, and you should enjoy what you do. I feel really lucky that I still look forward to going to work each day and wondering what opportunities and challenges will face me. But do you feel the same way? If so, great! But if not, it’s time to re-evaluate and figure out what you should be doing. Don’t try and do this alone either. There are a lot of great resources that will help with career development, whether it’s inside your company or someone external.
Network, network, network
Networking is often the first thing you let go when your career gets busier. But you must find the time, and it’s easy to do. Look at networking as a two-way street. It’s not just about getting the help you need when you’re looking for it, but about doing the same for a friend or colleague when they’re at a crossroads.
Social media is making it easier and easier, and believe me, everyone’s got a few minutes each day to reach out to the people in their network. Even if it’s just to say hello, these interactions are important. Who knows; your friend or colleague may be thinking about recruiting talent for a role or have heard about a new job that would be a great fit for you. So always make the time to network!
So now you’ve taken the time to think about your own situation and whether or not it’s working for you (great) or if you need to find something new (also fine). What action steps are you going to take each day to make the change happen in your career? It’s fine to ask other people for help; it’s a must these days. But have a plan in place and know what you’re asking for. You’ll make it easier for your friends and colleagues to help you take those next steps.
Will you sign up for training to learn new skills? Will you consider a lateral move to gain a deeper knowledge of your existing company or will you try something entirely new at a different company? Whatever step you take is fine; just do something!
What has been a pivotal moment in your own career that made you think about change, and how did you handle it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.