Whether you have been in a great career position for over ten years or you are looking for a new job…..you need to make sure career development becomes a habit. I will highlight seven key strategies that I focus on with both my leadership and career coaching clients.
You can assess from a one to ten how your presently are doing on these strategies and then you will know where to focus your energy. The first strategy to focus on is social media. At a minimum, the site I would like to see you focus your energy on is Linked In. I have dozens of stories on how clients have landed great interviews and even job offers from managing their Linked In site professionally. The strategy I recommend is to either spend five minutes on Linked In a day or 30 minutes once a week. I cannot emphasize enough that you should know everyone you connect with and feel that they have integrity and a good work ethic. This will assist you to keep your Linked In operating in a very professional manner. To develop a free profile go to www.LinkedIn.com.
The second strategy I want you to focus on monthly is tracking your achievements! How often it is time for your performance review or time to update your resume and you are completely overwhelmed trying to remember your specific accomplishments! Once a month schedule 30 minutes where you record three achievements for the month. If you have three months in a row where you realize you do not have anything to record that is a clue that you need to get involved in more challenging projects.
Professional development is the third strategy. When was the last time you took a training or teleseminar to develop a competency? We get so caught up in the craziness of our job that we forget how important it is to develop ourselves. Focusing on professional development is going to keep you up to date and recharged. There are lots of free one hour teleseminars and webinars that you can get involved in without leaving your office. What will you be doing this quarter for this strategy?
Do you have a mentor or are you involved in a worthwhile professional organization? Strategy four is getting extra support from getting involved with a mentor or professional organization. The goal of having a mentor is that you have someone that is not your boss who you can trust to get career insights and feedback. Sometimes individuals are in situations where having a mentor does not work. Plan B is to join a professional organization in your career area to keep up to date with the latest trends in your field. I belong to two national coaching organizations and it has provided me with incredible resources that I share with clients on a daily basis.
Strategy five is asking for feedback. Do not wait for your annual review. You want your employer to see how motivated you are and that you are open for both positive and negative feedback. Even if you are an entrepreneur, ask for feedback from your customers. How can we improve if we do not get feedback?
Do you know your brand? Strategy six is to focus on your personal brand. What makes you different from your colleagues? If you have never done work in this area, a great resource to use is a Career Distinction by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson. .
Strategy seven is improving your resiliency. It does not matter what kind of career environment you work in. Workplaces are busier with fewer resources. You need to be able to function at 100% capacity and have the energy to do it! I often ask my coaching clients what they are doing to recharge themselves. We really need to think about our energy like a battery. How do we recharge? I want you to list three ways you recharge yourself during the week.