Boost your career with these 5 actions
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Posted by: Barbara Francella
By Kathy Caprino
The inner and outer steps a person has to take to be happy
in her work defy easy analysis or a quick "score.” But, after the thousandth
request, I created a tool that gives professionals a clear idea of
what they’re doing right — and
what they’re missing — in
building a career they’ll love for the long haul. The Career Success Readiness
Quiz outlines 30 steps that are essential for career success.
I thought I had my finger on the pulse of
what’s holding people back from happier careers, but after reviewing the
results from more than 4,000 survey takers, I can honestly say I’m floored. I found 15 of the 30 steps are being neglected by more than 40 percent the population
surveyed (professional women and men around the world, at all levels).
Related: 5 assumptions that destroy career happiness
More eye-brow raising? These five essential steps are being
neglected by more than 60 percent of those studied:
1. Power networking. You can’t succeed and reach your best life and career if you’re in
a vacuum. You need great people to help you — loyal fans, ambassadors, mentors, sponsors, friends — people you respect and admire who
think the world of you and your work, and will open doors and make important
introductions for you. You can’t rise to the next level if you’re slogging
through your career alone.Focus on meeting at least one new person a
month who inspires you.
2. Connecting with people outside your company. I’ve worked with scores of clients from
Fortune 100 companies who come to me desperate for a career or job change, but
they suddenly realize they know nobody outside of their company. And they’ve been there so long that they don’t
know how to proceed. You need to build a powerful support community beyond the
folks you immediately work with.Don’t wait. Get out there and meet new
people every month who will expand your horizons and show you what life is like
outside of your company. It’s critical that you keep your options open at all
times, to avoid feeling trapped at a job that no longer fits.
3. Interviewing regularly. No matter how happy you
are at your job, you need to be interviewing regularly (numerous times a year)
and exploring new partnerships and collaborators. Don’t make the mistake I see
over and over with folks over 45 who’ve been suddenly laid off, and haven’t
interviewed in 10 years. Whatever your age, you need the practice of
communicating to hiring managers exactly why you’re amazing and why you should
be hired. Secondly, even if you’re happy at your job, there are fabulous
opportunities out there that you should be aware of and going for, to help you
guide your career trajectory more authoritatively.
4. Shaping your career. Angie Ruan, PayPal’s retail engineering head told me recently that the most powerful advice she’s
ever received (from her first mentor Terri Jordan, vice president of eBay operations at the
time) was: "You have to work on every
part of your career to assure promotion. Your career is something you have to
take control of explicitly.” Too many people let their careers just
happen, rather than taking the reins and steering the course. Start today by
developing both long- and short-term S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable,
achievable, realistic and timely) goals and find a supportive coaching buddy to
hold you accountable to make these goals a reality. You spend most of
your time on this planet at work —
don’t you want to make the most of it?
5. Career change transition planning. Thousands of
people reach out to me each year desperate for a career change, but very few
have done the work of identifying the best directions to pursue, "trying on”
these directions to make sure they’re a true fit, and, finally, building a
solid transition plan with realistic financial and professional goals to get
there. You don’t have to go broke to be happy. You can improve your career and
redirect your work to something more satisfying without losing
everything. But to do it, you need a strong, vetted and proven plan that
will take you there.
Take care of these five important career-building actions and your career will thrive!
Kathy Caprino is
a nationally recognized women’s career and leadership coach and speaker
dedicated to the advancement of women in business. Author of Breakdown,
Breakthrough, Caprino is a contributor to Forbes, Huffington Post and AARP.
Follow her on Twitter at @kathycaprino. For Kathy's original post on this topic,
visit her Forbes Leadership blog "Career Bliss.”
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