In the digital world where 38% of workers quit their job because of email fatigue, business leaders and managers hardly find time to think about employees' career development. Regardless of how caring your organization is, it’s important for you to figure out how to achieve your career goals and put yourself in a position for long-term growth. Managers hardly find time to think about employees' career development. Regardless of how caring your organization is, it’s important for you to figure out how to achieve your career goals and put yourself in a position for long-term growth.
To get what you want in your career, you must learn to identify your strengths, and weaknesses, and uncover blind spots. Remember, there are no shortcuts when it comes to achieving sustainable growth. Only perseverance and hard work will help you master the skills and experiences you need to thrive in the workplace.
First and foremost, you need to realize that you’re living in a do-it-yourself career development era. Organizations either don’t offer formal training or their training programs are not given due attention. It is probably because employees change jobs frequently. As a result, organizations hesitate to invest in people who are likely to leave.
Korn Ferry revealed that developing others is not at all on the priority list of managers.
However, there are companies that treat personal development as a major company initiative.
If you think you have skill gaps and blind spots that can make it hard for you to grow, it’s time to take some concrete actions and put your career on the right path.
In this post, we will explain how you can take control of your career. Let’s get started!
Define Your Success
If you want to achieve something in life, be sure to have a clear picture of your goals. In other words, define your job goals and success metrics. It’s best to write down your key performance indicators, and then consult with your manager or boss to see if they agree to your plan. It would be a good approach to involve your employer in your career development planning.
Fix Your Blind Spot
Successful people know the significance of solving their blind spots. You can’t master the art of getting what you want unless you learn how to learn and adjust. Your boss is probably the right person to help you identify your weaknesses or areas where you need to improve.
If your superiors aren’t proactive in giving regular feedback, be the first to start the conversation. Seek guidance after every meeting or presentation. Keep things simple: work on one area at a time. Listen to your peers and friends when they offer some advice.
Learn in a Systematic Way
It’s always a good idea to keep things organized. For example, when you seek feedback, keep a journal. Prepare a list of top competencies or skills that you want to develop. And then rate yourself on each of them with the help of your manager or career development coach.
Let’s explain this with an example. If you’re a marketer, you might give yourself an A in trade marketing, a B+ in advertising development, and a C in brand development. Now, you should be focusing on the Cs to close skill gaps. Experts in those fields can help you learn quickly and the right way. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to people who previously held your position.
Let Your Presence Be Felt
One of the best things you can do as an employee is to increase your visibility with the C-suit. In some workplace environments, employees find it hard to get noticed by seniors through their direct work. So, you should watch out for volunteering opportunities or other business initiatives where you can prove yourself.
So many workers overlook the importance of taking part in company events. Don’t be one of them. Let your seniors witness your ability to perform outside your traditional job role.
Your company might need experts in areas of increasing importance. For example, your company may be introducing a new technology to streamline its various business operations. If you’re good at learning and implementing new technologies, you should come up and play your role and help your managers. If your company is facing an emerging issue, you can stand up and propose solutions. Your interest and willingness to solve your company’s problems will surely bring you promotions and other career opportunities.
Get Clear on Your Next Step
Visualizing your entire career path with clarity is only the first step. Whether you want to get that promotion you’ve been striving for or planning to start your own business, identify the pathway to get from where you’re right now and where you want to be. Here is a simple practice to do so: put yourself at least 5 years into the future and write down your resume as you envision it.
It is a good idea to see things both from your perspective and others’ perspective. If you’re not confident in your career direction, seek mentoring. The perspective of an expert career development coach is invaluable. Therefore, try to find a mentor who could guide you and bring clarity to your vision.
If you know someone who has what it takes to provide objective guidance, reach out to them. Focus on building a good relationship rather than bombarding them with non-stop questions. Find opportunities to have quality discussions over coffee or at the company’s lobby. This is how you build relationships organically.
It might take you some time to learn the art of getting what you want in your career. Also, strong functional skills take time to develop. Besides, you’re likely to face plenty of resistance, both internal and external, to achieve what you want. All you have to do is stay committed to your goals and keep going.
Your skill set is your most precious career capital. So, take time to develop them. Lack of clarity or jumping from one job to another too quickly wouldn’t allow you to develop the functional expertise you need to have a remarkable career. You’re more likely to succeed in this DIY world if you take initiative and stick to your well-thought plan.
“The key to success is to start before you are ready.” - Marie Forleo