Career Direction: Do you know what it is and how to get there?
Lewis Carroll, author of Allison in Wonderland understood that without a clear direction, you don’t get too far in your journey.
"What road do I take?
Where do you want to go?
I don't know
Then... it really doesn't matter, does it?"
Knowing where you want to go in your career and how you plan on getting there is a key to being happy and career satisfied.
Paying close attention to your career while you are still working is important in today’s world of work. Companies continue to make organizational changes such as; staffing needs, workflow efficiencies, reducing expenses and difficult reduction of force decisions. Too often, career professionals are not watching for what is going on inside their organization nor outside with current trends and job activity.
Are you managing your career or is your career managing you? June is the midpoint of the year and a good time to stop and reflect.
Did you accomplish want you wanted to do and if not, what got in the way?
What did you accomplish that you would be proud to tell others?
Have you paid attention to the outside market’s needs and trends? What have you learned?
Let’s make it simple with 5 things you can do to get started on taking charge of YOUR career!
1.Reflect on where have you been?
Identify your accomplishments for the past year with results not tasks or responsibilities you’ve been asked to assume. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile (you might want to shut off your notifications before you make changes.) You want to be prepared in case someone reaches out about a new opportunity.
2. Write down 3 achievable goals for the remainder of 2019.
Have at least one of your goals about keeping up with technology especially the ones applicable to your industry.
Use your reflection time to identify what you need to work on to stay current and promotable.
Suggest adding books on relationship building such as; Dale Carnegie’ hardcopy or audio book on “How to win friends and influence people” or Keith Ferrazzi ‘s “Never eat alone.”
3. Update your image.
Keeping an updated look is essential for initial impressions especially for Baby Boomers. Think of using an on-line stylist such as Stitch Fix https://www.stitchfix.com/ . After you’ve had an update, remember to take a new photo for your LinkedIn Profile.
4. Set up quarterly updates with your manager.
In order to stay on track with your professional development, scheduled quarterly updates with your manager. You set the agenda. Review your career goals and ask for support to help you achieve success!
5. Network , network and network some more inside and outside your organization!
I’ve saved the best for last, networking, which is always challenging to find the time to stay connected especially face to face. There are a couple of creative ways I’ve stayed connected to my network if I cannot meet face to face.
I schedule “virtual morning coffee chats” with new contacts and colleagues early in the before the busy days begins. They usually last about 1⁄2 and if it is someone new, I might suggest we schedule another time to chat. If I want to spend longer connecting, I set up a “lunch time career conversation.”
Remember it is all about you making the time for YOUR career. For internal contacts, schedule time for lunch and don’t hesitate to ask other colleagues to join you.
These are some ways of being proactive in “taking charge of your career.”
So, the next time someone asks you "What road do I take? Where do you want to go?, you will have an answer!