If you are frustrated that you are not getting traction in your career here is what I have learned and has continues to work for me 25 years later
Nothing makes me more special than you, all I have is a plan and rules that I live by every day.
When you begin to think of a career like I do, your skills, experiences and discipline will be the reason companies will want to hire or contract you for a role. It is not easy work and it calls for a long-term commitment and a lot of personal discipline.
1. No one is going to care about your career as much as you do. Make no mistake about this, you are the owner of your brand and its path.
2. Get out from under the shadow of working for someone who has no interest in your future.
3. Expect the unexpected: Companies want to be loyal but they can’t promise things will never change or that jobs will last forever.
4. If you lead teams reward great performances and be known as a recruiter, developer and promoter of talent. Never give performance reviews that are a surprise.
5. Volunteer for short and long-term assignments. When everyone else was running one territory, I ran two. When most led one retail chain, I led four. When the international and domestic assignments came around I always raised my hand and took them.
6. Create your own Personal Social Responsibility statement (my new buzz term). Employees and consumers alike demand Corporate Social Responsibility from organizations. Therefore, anyone who is in a leadership role should have a Personal Social Responsibility statement of their own. It’s different than a personal mission or vision statement. A PSR statement represents what you stand for and support.
7. Be realistic about your time in each position. If you are excelling and are looking for more work chances are you are ready to take it on, listen to the feedback you are getting. Is it; “keep up the good work” or “this is amazing work!”, there is a difference.
8. Never become comfortable with the role you are in. Once mediocrity sets in so does the passing of time in that role, together mediocrity and time are like an addiction the longer you are in one place, the easier it is to get in a rut and fall behind.
9. Write your career goals down, put them to memory. Renew them every year and check against them quarterly to see how you are doing.
10. Build your resume, continuously upgrade your skills and experiences, get that next level of education. Get better qualified in disciplines where you are weak.
11. If someone gives you a break in your career always be grateful and know you may have to return the favour one day.
12. Make a name for yourself as a leader and a change agent. If change makes you uncomfortable get over it quickly, welcome it and look for it. Many will tell you that there is too much risk in that kind of behaviour. I will tell you that there is more risk in being comfortable.
13. Add value and good judgement in every situation at work and in your personal life. Stay away from emotional decision making, stick to the facts and well thought out strategic options. If you are too tied to the situation step back and get clarity first.
14. When you are being interviewed by a company find out what their employee turnover and growth opportunities are like? If it doesn’t sound good wait for the next job, unless you absolutely have to take it. Then find the next one as soon as you can.
15. Continuously reinvent yourself with every new skill, experience, assignment, promotion or company. It’s important to demonstrate your business maturity and versatility.
There will always be someone who tells you that you are too ambitious or that executive life is not in the cards for you. Don’t believe it! As long as you are willing to grow through proper personal development, take on new challenging roles and improve your leadership style. All things are possible.