Today, a surprising number of professionals leave their careers up to chance. For example, they may assume their employer will help them advance when the time is right, taking little ownership over their journey. The approach is incredibly passive, amounting to essentially a form of career autopilot.
The issue is, no one will take control of your career except you. Your manager and employer have other concerns, so they aren’t going to do the hard part for you, even if you have exceptional potential.
Thankfully, taking ownership of your career isn’t as hard as it may seem. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips.
Define Your Target
First and foremost, you can’t take control of your career if you don’t have a target. Spend time reflecting on your professional goals, including skills you’d like to acquire, positions you want to land, and anything else regarding progress you’re hoping to make.
Think both short- and long-term as you define your targets. Then, determine what steps you need to take to make your goals a reality. Whether you’ll need more education or training, access to specific kinds of projects, or anything else, visualize how your career needs to unfold. That way, you can start identifying a pathway toward success.
Embrace All Feedback
There are numerous occasions where you’ll receive feedback during your career, such as performance reviews or at the end of a project. Whenever you get feedback, embrace it all. While criticism can be hard to hear, it represents growth opportunities. You can boost your performance in meaningful ways by learning from it, increasing the odds you’ll get chances to advance.
Along the way, reflect on your positive feedback. That way, you remember that you’re a capable professional, keeping your mood up while you work to improve.
Track Your Accomplishments
Your accomplishments are powerful when you want to take your career to the next level. Showcasing your achievements during performance reviews shows your manager why you may deserve new opportunities. They help the hiring manager see your value during a hiring process, increasing the odds you’ll get an offer.
Since it can be hard to recall your accomplishments as time passes, actively track them as they occur. Write notes that outline what happened, quantifying the details along the way. Then, when you need to discuss an achievement, you’ll have an easy way to fresh your memory.
Most industries, fields, and professions evolve. Learning about emerging trends and actively pursuing the associated skills is essential to stay ahead of the curve. It allows you to bring more to the table right when demand starts to rise. You’ll be a more valuable candidate and employee, all because you’re striving to stay current.
Ultimately, all of the tips above can help you take control of your career. If you’d like to learn more about how you can keep your professional life on target, the team at The Advance Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.