Have you ever had a flying dream? The kind that makes you feel for an instant that you have super powers and can float three feet above the ground? I like that kind of dream.
Unfortunately, as we “grow old” we start to come down to the ground. Our flying dreams get bogged down.
It reminds me about people at my work who say that in our company there is no room for career advancement. They think they’re stuck. They feel boxed in by their job description.
I love where my career is going. I’m harvesting the fruit of 22 years of experience in education. I started when I was six. I’m mentoring others and having a blast. I have found plenty of opportunities for advancement and growth. I have found support from my peers and my leaders. I work for the same company that the people who complain about limited growth opportunities.
So here it goes, fasten your seat belt. Top ten strategies to grow in your career:
- Value. Go beyond your job description. Do you have a special skill that complements your job? I’ve found out that being bilingual is a great asset, even though it hasn’t been a requirement to perform my job.
- Positive Attitude. I don’t mean leaving a marshmallow trail everywhere but truly seeing obstacles as opportunities to grow and serve better. Instead of complaining about problems, come up with solutions.
- Initiative. Volunteer for special projects. Find new business opportunities. Bring in your networking skills to find a business partner or client.
- Collaboration. This is commonplace, but working well with others really goes a long way.
- Great communication skills. Don’t be the person who puts out “death by Power Point” presentations. There are zillion resources on YouTube and some (not all) TED talks on how to be a good speaker. Toastmasters or programs affiliated with the National Speakers Association will help you tremendously. Remember to speak well and listen a lot.
- Goals. I struggle when the time of year comes to set goals, but they have helped me to focus on growth areas and do more of the things that have been successful.
- Motivation. Your career growth depends on you. How many VP, Director or Management positions are available at your company? Exactly. Instead of climbing the ladder, grow your current position. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re already as high as you will get.
- Generosity. Did you find a super awesome blog post? Webinars? Articles? Books? Pass them along! Same goes for your time and skills. Be generous and you will reap great rewards.
- Don’t gossip. Self-explanatory. Keep negative comments out of your vocabulary and out of your head.
- Reliability. Show your team they can count on you. All the time. This goes along with accountability. They will trust you if they know “the buck stops here”.
In conclusion, no one will grow your career for you. Your leader is not your mother and they won’t set goals for you. They should support the goals you have set for yourself, which by the way should be aligned with theirs. There are always creative ways to grow without spending a fortune. Your time and energy are your most valuable asset.
Question: What does career growth look for you? Do you think these top ten apply in other areas of your life?