Sunday, 9 July 2017

6 powerful ways to boost your career

Feeling ready to go to the next level in your career, either with your current company or somewhere else? Take the lead and don't wait for the perfect opportunity to come by itself. Here are some areas to explore:

1) Get feedback, especially on your talents and strengths
The way we view ourselves is biaised. Some of us tend to minimize our strengths : since they feel natural and require little effort from us, we might think that everyone has them. Or we are not aware of some obvious weaknesses that everybody else can see.

With this in mind, many companies offer a 360° development tool : an anonymous online questionnaire, where you can get input from your bosses, peers and team members on how they perceive you. If you have this opportunity, do not hesitate to take advantage of it. If this is not an option for you, you can do an informal 360 °: ask a dozen people who know you well about the talents they have seen in you and the advice they can give you to further develop. It’s usually very useful.

2) Identify an additional mission that challenges you on a key competency to develop
It’s mostly through action that we develop ourselves. Learning & Development researchers have established that in the long term, 70% of the progress comes from the accomplishment of new tasks within a job ("learning by doing"), 20% through interactions with people who inspire us, and 10% (only) through training. What new project could help you speed up your development?

3) Talk more openly about your ambitions 
Have you identified the role of your dreams in your current company, or at least the 2 or 3 options that might interest you? With whom did you share this ambition? Are you geographically mobile ? Who knows about it ? I am often surprised to see that many managers do not dare to bring up this topic with their supervisors & HR colleagues, and are waiting to be approached. This can be interpreted as a lack of interest, and does not do you any service.

4) Find a mentor
A mentor is a more senior colleague who, through his experience, his unbiaised feedback and a mirror effect, allows us to progress. More and more large companies have set up internal mentoring programs. When it does not exist, you can always approach a more senior person (eg a former boss) and solicit him or her for informal mentoring, for example by inviting him / her to lunch.

5) Update your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn has become an essential tool for managing one’s career, externally to be solicited by recruiters, but also increasingly internally in large companies. And yet, a majority of managers still display a minimalist, poorly filled and unattractive profile, and miss out on great opportunities. Updating your profile is a good opportunity to challenge yourself  and reflect the image you want to portray: your career story, your key talents and strengths, your major achievements.

6) Develop targeted networking actions
The network brings us our best professional opportunities, internally as well as externally. Yet I still meet many executives in their 40’s or 50’s who have not maintained their network for years, and wake up one day when they seek a new position ... This is not the most effective method. Be sure to keep time to maintain relationships with key people in your work environment, who can help you and who will be able to open doors for you when the time comes.

By taking initiative, you are entering into a virtuous circle of positive energy and new opportunities will start to come up.

Thank you for your interest in this article. If you liked it, feel free to like it, comment, and share!

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