August 9, 2017
Is your career not going the way you’d expected? Maybe you were hoping for a promotion, but didn’t receive it. Or maybe you’ve been going on interviews to land that higher-level dream job, but it’s just not happening.
Instead of getting frustrated, now is the time to get analytical and strategic.
Put on your sleuthing hat. What are the requirements for the position you want? Conduct research to find the job description or job postings of similar positions and compare yourself to the requirements. Do you have the right skills, the experience required, the education or certifications necessary?
Analyze the gaps. Where are the areas where you don’t meet the requirements? List these out on paper or electronically so you can see them in front of you. Brainstorm all the possible ways you can overcome these gaps. Are there classes you can take? Could you volunteer to lead projects to gain additional experience? Is there a certification you could earn?
Create your career development plan. Based on your research and the analysis of your gaps, create and implement an action plan. Don’t sit still; strive to gain the skills and experience you’ll need to step into higher-level positions.
Ask for more responsibilities. Upper management rarely gives promotions to employees who don’t ask for additional responsibilities. Why? Because they’re looking for employees who consistently strive to go above and beyond what’s asked of them and who want to become leaders within the organization. So don’t wait around – volunteer for projects or ask for work assignments where you’ll be able to learn new skills or demonstrate existing ones.
Prove your value. Every day when you go to work, prove your value to the organization. And while you’re at it, evaluate the quality of your work performance and kick your productivity level up a notch.
Think of yourself as an internal consultant. Be more than just an employee. Consultants are hired to assess a current situation and then create action plans for improvement. They are paid for their expertise and their calm, professional demeanor, especially in times of difficulty. Act like a consultant and figure out ways you can add even more value to the company – because this will also help you get noticed by management.
Increase your visibility. And while we’re on the topic of getting noticed, make sure you’re spending enough time working face-to-face with your manager and co-workers. Don’t forget to network informally through coffee chats and lunch discussions.
Whenever your career isn’t going the way you’d like, get analytical, get strategic and then implement actions that will get you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. You can do it!