Lucy Dunn, Sept 10, 2013
Recently you landed a dream job, or you are already working for one of your most admired companies. Everything seems to be working well; good match of your skills, experience, and they are paying you the expected salary, all the hard-facts are there, but somehow there might still things which you are not entirely comfortable with. How do you make sure that you have a successful career?
I would like to suggest making time in your daily activity to think about and find way to:
- Foster relationships – how are you getting on with your peers, locally and overseas? Networking skills need to be applied to you company contacts as well as to your customers. It is just so much easier to work with people whom you get along, and you will always seem to perform better at your job when viewed by people who know you and with whom you have a harmonious relationship. Make an effort to put aside personal differences and focus on the common goal or even how you can help others at your company
- Speak up for yourself –Do the ground work to be over-prepared for meetings and take initiative in discussions and bring new ideas to the workplace? Taking a back-seat won’t help you advance your career. Also, it is also a good idea to do a “checking-in” exercise with your boss every month or so to make sure you are on the same “wavelength” and remind him you are thinking about the companies and his priorities
- Give credit – Dick Lyles, author of Winning Way: Four Secrets of Getting Great Results by Working Well with People, says that competition with coworkers can be fatal. “Embrace this attitude: I win only if you win, and we all win together,” he says
- Seek and offer mentorship – It is valuable to learn from those who have “been there, done that”. If possible ask to be paired up with someone who could help minimize the “school fees” that we all seem to need to pay more than once. Also, there is nothing like finding time to help/coach someone more junior on the team, it not only helps foster relationships, it bring satisfaction to you, as well as perhaps getting you noticed for that manager’s promotion
- Managing up –You need to understand how to “manage your boss’s needs and expectation.” One of the most common reasons for leaving is a bad relationship with a superior(s). Do you understand his/her communication and work style? Do you understand your boss’s “needs and desires” as well as their personal performance priorities? This is a tremendous skill to nurture.
Last, but not least, keep learning; seek new challenges and or rotation opportunities. Perhaps if you are in products, offer to work with the sales team on some joint project, or if in sales offer to work on a cost cutting team with finance… You will make what could be important connections for the future while you are learning things your peers don’t know. This not only puts you in a position for promotion sooner, it can bring new excitement to your daily routine.
I hope some of these ideas strike a cord and would love to hear from you about other ideas you are using to turn a job into a successful career!