Put Your Career on the Fast Track

Posted by

Achieving impressive, but consistent, career growth is every professional's dream. Yet, many believe that aiming for professional success is a difficult undertaking that often requires complex Machiavellian strategies or political tact. Not true. The best recipe for long term success is plain old PHP (planning, hard work, and persistence). Speaking of success, what actions if taken now will fire up your career and take you a step closer to your dreams? We have outlined a few simple tips. Realize that you are in charge Many individuals I come across are bright, talented, hard working professionals. Despite their tremendous potential, however, they are very passive when it comes to their career. When I ask them about their next career move or strategy, I often get a blank stare or a cold response: "I don't know." These individuals appear to be waiting, as if, for their boss or superior to grant the next promotion or to catalyze the next big thing, a wait that often translates into many wasted years -- precious years. It is very important to realize that you are in charge of your career, not someone else. Once this realization sinks in, the rest will follow automatically. Develop an action plan Where do you want to be in the next five years? ten? What can you do to take you closer to your long term goals? Answering these questions in detail will provide building blocks for your Action Plan. Caveat: A plan that is conceptualized but not written will, most likely, [let's admit] not be executed, so it is critical for you to put the action plan on paper, on the wall, on the bulletin board -- wherever it will scream at you to take ACTION. Take stock During all my coaching sessions I stress on doing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What opportunities do you anticipate (or can create) in the coming year? And how can you grab them (literally)? Do you perceive any threats to your professional ambitions? Get the dust off your resume How often do you update your resume? Once every few years, right? Not a good strategy. At the end of every work week you must make a list of achievements for that week. These regular reports will be a big help when it is time to actually update your resume. Establish a PD (professional development) budget We are living in the Information Age, an age where knowledge moves faster than fashion. Unless you participate in ongoing professional development, your skills will soon be, well, obsolete. Continuously investing in professional development -- training, professional associations, education, certifications, professional literature, etc. -- will help you stay abreast with the latest advances in your field, and also a step above the competition. Set aside an annual budget (if your employer doesn't sponsor) for your professional development and growth. This will be your wisest investment ever. Challenge yourself Achievers constantly compete with themselves, always pushing the bar to deliver more with each attempt. Push yourself to perform better. Aim for 110%, 120% .... Become a valuable resource Do people come to you for advice? If not, take steps to become an expert in your profession or area of interest. From internal employees to the media, you must be looked upon as a valuable resource. Regularly seek out publishing (articles, books, etc.), networking, and public speaking opportunities.

Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Colleen W
    Colleen W
    Great article and so true, thank you for the reminder.
  • Rose R
    Rose R
    Although I am just beginning my new career, I found this article very helpful. Especially the "Dust off your resume" tip.
  •  Merry R.T
    Merry R.T
    I found this article to be inspiring and very informative. I believe with most professional careers that you must become a lifelong learner and take the initiative to better yourself personally and professional if you want to succeed in this technological world we live in today.
  •  Carl E
    Carl E
    This article is an excellent reminder for everyone. It appears to be human nature to "get comfortable" after a couple years on the job...what a mistake.
  • Faith B
    Faith B
  • Rebecca D
    Rebecca D
    Great article, very imformative.  Thank you for sharing.
  • Gary K
    Gary K
    Not everybody is a electrial engineer ,these employers have lost touch with the real world. Besides that when these kids get out of school they dont know anything anyway.
  • Nora M
    Nora M
    Very informative article just what I need it. I would like to read more of interviewer questions, and how to give them the best answered.Thank you for your time and helping others.
  • Jeff
    how can I improve my resume?
  • Margaret R
    Margaret R
    The information is priceless and every career driven individual should take your advice.  Plan your career, review goals, SWOT,have a  vision and brand statement. Successful companies have always evaluated their course now more than ever especially in todays economic recession..so should you. Great advice!
  • Sarah W
    Sarah W
    Very good Article, food for thought and then put into action.
  • Marie S
    Marie S
    Very good article
    I really appreciate the practical information and look forward to implementing it!
  • Noemi Jimenez
    Noemi Jimenez
    Thank you for the article
  • Erik Greenidge
    Erik Greenidge
    Thank you for the input, this is a well needed catalyst to stay on top of the day to day in order to progress in an every transitioning era.
  • Liloutie Bahadur
    Liloutie Bahadur
    Great career advice. Thanks for sharing.
  • Judith Kelley
    Judith Kelley
    An excellent reminder of the basics whether we're in the job search or not. Thanks for the heads up!
  • Gene B.
    Gene B.
    Helpful strength notes we all should check on, thank you for some help.  
  • Bruce D'Salas
    Bruce D'Salas
    Great article. I have taken note...and am taking ACTION!
  • Nimish Thakkar
    Nimish Thakkar
    Many thanks for the wonderful feedback. Hope all of you succeed in your respective careers.
  • Rizwan Z.
    Rizwan Z.
    Excellent advice! Thank you for sharing.
  • Kissandra R
    Kissandra R
    This is a Reality Check...only YOU can take charge of where YOU want to go in life. Take time and invest in YOURSELF. What do you have to lose? Nada. Just do it! Love the PHP (Planning, Hardwork, Persistance), emphasis on the Professional Development via trainings, social/professional groups was great and becoming a "Valuable Resource" REALLY caught me. Loved this. Thanks!
  • Thomas G Tolbert,Sr.
    Thomas G Tolbert,Sr.
    This article is an energizer for me. keep up your good work.
  • Gloria San-Gil
    Gloria San-Gil
    Great article! Thank you so much for sharing.
  • Marina Morrison
    Marina Morrison
    Very helpful article.  Thank you.
  • You Might Also Be Interested In

article posted by Staff Editor

Jobs to Watch