10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GET AHEAD IN YOUR CAREER – From the first rung on the ladder to the big chair at the director’s table, these 10 tips will help you make the most of your career potential.
1) Set SMART Goals
Sounds basic but the amount of people I’ve interviewed over the year that don’t have any goals they want to achieve are the ones that often don’t go anywhere in their jobs. Decide what you want to achieve in your career in the next 12 months to 5 years, then work backwards to today, working out what you need to achieve in order to succeed in your goal and when you need to take each step. This could be additional training, key activity or experience achieved or expanding your networking and knowledge in an area.
An effective way of setting goals is to make sure they’re SMART:
It’s not enough to just say ‘I want…’ you have to work out how to make it happen – and when! Taking the time to break the next phase of your career journey into smaller steps makes it feel less daunting and more achievable. This will help keep you motivated and on track.
And if the steps you identify push your goal back? That’s just fine. The single most important thing is to work out a realistic roadmap of how you’re going to make it happen – and stick to it!
2) Be Realistic
Nothing will set you up to fail more than over-reaching. Everybody loves an optimist and ambition is key – but keep it real people! With the best will in the world, it’s unlikely that even the most promising Assistant Quantity Surveyor will make the transition to Commercial Director in a single year. Instead of trying to conquer the whole world in 12 months, it’s far more productive to break that journey down into stages that you know you can pick off.
3) Set A Date
The only way to hit a target is when you can see it. Between SMART Goals and being realistic, you’ve worked out what you want to achieve and when – that’s a huge part of your journey completed already! So, create a career timeline and have it somewhere visible.
Now it’s down to you to keep an eye on that countdown and tick off every milestone along the way. Imposing deadlines on yourself may seem like introducing additional stress, but it’s a great way to keep you focused on your progress.
Talk to friends, colleagues, or managers and go online to find out more about your potential career path and what is needed to steep-up to the next level. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone in a leadership position in your field and ask for five minutes of their time! You may be surprised how one single bit of information can trigger an avalanche of inspiration.
People that have succeeded down the path you want to follow can not only be great inspiration but also a fantastic source of information. They know what you need to do to get from A to B and more importantly how to get there! So, start making more friends and those extra cups of tea, a drink after work or whatever you do to get them on board will save your time dangling on the career ladder.
Arguably the most valuable information about your prospects comes from the person that you already report to. Your boss can tell you your strengths and weaknesses as only a manager will see them, as well as areas for improvement.
This can be distracting but take any negative comments on the chin and address any issues with an eye on the future. Constructive criticism is essential to everyone’s self-development so always use it to your advantage!
6) There’s No Substitute For Hard Work!
Nothing that was ever truly worthwhile is easy – and that’s never been truer than with the future of your career. There are no shortcuts when it comes to success — and proving that you’re willing to put in the work is of most importance.
Whether you’re being seen to excel in your current role or researching the company that’s just invited you in for an interview, the more effort you put in, the better your chances of success.
People always notice hard work and that’s one the key ingredients to success. Effort, attitude and results!
7) Be Positive
It’s easy to become dispirited when all the pieces don’t fall into place first time. But sometimes, it really isn’t you – it’s them after all. The key is to stay motivated and inspired. You have a vision for your career, so just keep working away to make it happen.
Believe in yourself and what you’re capable of. Criticism can knock you off course, but sometimes it can inspire. Like many things in life, it’s all about how you choose to look at it.
Keeping the right company is an important lesson to learn; not only does it affect the way that others perceive you, but it also affects the way you see yourself. Choose your company wisely and mix with winners for their success to rub off on you.
You are the average of the 5 people you most associate with remember!
8) Tell People
There’s no greater motivation for success than making your goals public. Whether that’s shared over a social drink, meeting, review or social media, the very fact that other people are now watching your results will sharpen your performance. You might be surprised by the level of encouragement and support you receive. And some of those people might even be in a position to help…
9) Track Progress
You could have the most effective strategy for career progress in the world, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t measure your progress against your roadmap. Keep an eye on your milestone markers; don’t beat yourself up if you miss them but regroup and come back stronger to catch up.
Sometimes, talking to someone in the know is the only way to achieve your career goals; you don’t always have to go it alone to make the most of your potential. Kingston Barnes has helped hundreds of people to get where they want to be in their career – and we bring our expertise to bear for every single one of our candidates.
Whether you need advice about your next steps, insight into the marketplace or an introduction to your ideal employer, Kingston Barnes can help. Talk to us today on 0117 325 2233 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org