Supercharge your career

Are you feeling like your career plan has stalled or just isn’t working? Has the pandemic and lockdowns taken their toll on your motivation to do anything about your career?

There’s lots of career advice out there to help keep your plan on track but maybe you need a new approach. Try out my 6 shortcuts to confidently fix your plan (and your career).

1. Make YOU your top priority

Sometimes your job can just suck the life out of you, leaving little energy or ‘get up and go’ to achieve your aims.

You want to live without regret. You are certainly never going to utter the words ‘I wish I’d worked extra hours’ or ‘I wish I’d said no to more parties, and yes to more work’! But you may say ‘I wish I’d focused on my priorities more so that I achieved what I wanted out of my career’.

Make sure you create time to plan, reflect, make connections and enjoy the journey you’re on. Don’t put work tasks ahead of your needs.

2. Create your own opportunities

Don’t wait for someone else to spot your potential, or create an opportunity specially for you. It’s probably not going to happen.

Be clear about what you want and go and get it. If you want to write creatively in your role, then seek out an opportunity to write a blog for your team, or an article for a trade journal. If you want to do more public speaking then look for chances to present (even virtually) at internal or external meetings.

3. You don’t have to meet all the requirements

When you’re applying for a new job you can feel that you have to meet the person spec 100% in order to stand a chance. BUT that is not true. Person specs are often wish lists, and recruiters and managers know they will not get a perfect match.

If you’ve been holding back from applying because you only meet 60% of the spec you need to start submitting those applications NOW.

4. Look at your current company

You don’t have to leave to achieve your career plan – maybe there are some great opportunities internally that you could shift or pivot into. It costs an organisation £30k to recruit a new staff member so they could be really open to helping you stay.

Have an open discussion with your manager or HR about what’s possible in the short to medium term.

5. Stop working late

Don’t fall into the trap of presenteeism, even if it’s virtual presenteeism. Working late when you don’t need to makes you look inefficient rather than hard working. It also means that you have less time to focus on yourself (see point 1).

Doing your job well and having a healthy work life balance is more valuable to your manager, and you, than working late for the sake of it.

6. You are allowed to change your mind (and your plan)

Give yourself permission to do things differently. Our career goals and plans can shift with our life experiences and age. Don’t get stuck following a particular route because it’s what you said you were always going to do. I’ve coached enough people in my time who have stayed in a career that wasn’t right for them because they didn’t want to let other people down, or change felt too scary.

You can change your mind at any point about what you really want to do.

Need some ideas to kickstart your career plan in 2021, download my 12 week Career Success Planner which is packed full of ideas, tips and techniques to supercharge your career development.

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  • Sarah Archer

    Career Coach

    I specialise in career success through re-energising your career, changing it and building confidence. I'm passionate about helping women, in particular, discover purposeful work that they love. I've helped hundreds of people change career or re-engage with their existing career. I love what I do and I want as many people as possible to discover a career they can love too.