Be the CEO of your career!
Have you heard this ever and wondered, what it really means? Not everyone can be a CEO due to various tangible and intangible reasons. But the catchy phrase above simply means: you are the one who can execute your career towards the desired path and destination. Easier said than done, right?
Of course, it is that way. Executing your desired career path is definitely not a child’s play. A career is not the designation you are at or the role you are eyeing at but an amalgamation of your skills (technical or management), knowledge, networking, and perseverance. You may not spin a career to taller heights in just 1 year, but taking baby steps towards it and start boosting a stalled professional growth is the right way to do it.
You might have got tons of advice but here, we have collated the most suitable ones under different sets. So, want to make the coming year pivotal in your career? Then read and imbibe to apply these:
Yes! Before emphasizing on any other step, we wish to stress on developing soft skills. Learning a new language or project execution methodology is important but what is most crucial is to cling to effective soft skills. Here are the skills you should learn or improve if you already use.
Workplace communication – the process of communication in the corporate arena, be it verbal or nonverbal is workplace communication. This arrow has to be sharp in your armor to have smooth sailing. Read as much as you can, learn basic correct writing skills and participate in discussions and meetings whenever possible but in limits. The importance of email etiquettes and meeting proficiency should be a priority.
Goal setting – Set right away, the long and short-term goals for your career. This will help you define your career path and will set a vision for the needs to execute the journey. Short-term could be for the coming or current year while long-term has to be at least a five-year plan. If not sure about this, take help of a senior.
Discipline – This is important everywhere, life or career. Remember, your schooling stressed on discipline. Why? So that it smoothens out your hardships. Same applies to your career. Set a discipline for your work: dress well, greet others and smile on a daily basis.
Time-bound – Being time-bound means not just doing things on time but within stipulated hours too. Is not that the first need in any project - Timely delivery! So, be time-bound with your work and make a habit to be punctual.
Forum participations – Needless to say, the more you participate in a forum—online or offline—you will increase knowledge and connectivity. You will also develop a sense of belonging to groups.
Feedback – Take feedback from your supervisor and fellow workers regularly and give feedback whenever asked. It expands the horizon of awareness about yourself and you would know your weak points too.
Leadership skills – Develop this skill set as soon as you can. Delegate if possible, lead where you can and cooperate, help and guide always, without bragging.
Career growth goes a long way; mentoring plays a fundamental role in growth in any industry.
Get mentored – Find a coach in your organization. Nowadays, most of the companies have an online mentoring system where you can appoint a coach for yourself based on your need and their approval without any monetary investment. Reap the benefits of such a system. If your project works in an agile framework and you are not comfortable, find a coach. They can share real-time experiences and you will learn a new thing. You have a weak nerve for public speaking, find someone to upskill yourself in this area.
Offer mentorship – You have a knack with verbal communication? Or you are proficient in your skill? Then you must share the knowledge by being a mentor to needy employees. There is no way you can miss the golden points in your appraisal with this. And this will be counted as your give back to the organization. Also, it counts these days a lot.
Shadowing – Shadow a colleague and learn a new skill in your leisure. It would hardly need 2-5 hours a week. You can even assist your supervisor in their work, this way you will groom yourself in leadership skills.
Certification – Get yourself certified in your proficiency or industry. A badge is a stamping of your knowledge. If you have implemented Six Sigma in your project equivalent to a black belt, then go for the relevant formal certification because it will definitely add weight to your knowledge and makes your profile appealing too, making you an official Subject Matter Expert (SME).
Courses – These days, external courses are very popular and efficient too. If you have a little extra to invest in yourself, don’t hesitate to opt for a weekend class. This will open more avenues for your desired role. Maybe, you can bag a new position in your organization. But, do check the course’s availability within the company first to avoid a dent in your purse.
Training – No organization these days would skip a mandatory specified amount of training hours for its employees. Webinars, live sessions and online courses are in abundance in the eLearning portals. Take the benefit to attain your yearly learning target and learn something new or take your skill a notch up.
Hobbies – Develop a hobby, go grab the free photography or guitar session in your company. You would wonder, how a hobby could help in professional growth. But leaders these days like a boy who works and plays both. And you can always flash that hobby in your profile to catch attention.
Stretch assignments – If you have time to vest, look for extra assignments—something beyond your current project or an entirely new work that you are interested in. Intensifying your skills would come along automatically. Don’t forget, such extra assignments are the best way to network, learn and bag promotions.
Inside the Organization – Many companies nowadays have a mature platform to bridge the employees. You can share your knowledge, voice your opinions via blogs and connect with your colleagues easily just like any social networking channel. We cannot stress enough on the benefits of networking. The more it grows, the better would be your prospects for new assignments and recognition.
Outside the Organization – Join platforms for professionals like LinkedIn and grow your network. You will develop a vision about what is happening in your industry and niche. Such networking would also usher a way if you are looking for job-hopping.
Statistics proved that more than 80% of jobs are filled by networking.
Cross the comfort zone – A career trajectory would be flat if risks are not included. Come out of your cozy cubicle and take some risk. You need to try new things: say if you are aspiring to be a technical specialist in Blockchain, it is still a good idea to learn aspects of project management, for—learning never goes waste. Take a leap and learn a disruptive technology. Be bold and attend a few industry related seminars and conferences.
If you find a better opportunity elsewhere, do not hesitate to jump the wagon and join a competitor. The pasture is greener on the other side perhaps but without crossing the meadow, you would not know and keep repenting when the opportunity is gone.
Most of the tips mentioned in this article call for a little jolt in your routine but that wiggle is needed to accelerate your professional development. You are the only one who can pave the path of success in your career. Don’t look around for a shoulder to lean at. Take charge of your success and fast track your career by being its CEO.