One thing I love doing is helping people navigate through career planning. The feeling of being in a role or in a career where we are growing, contributing and leveraging our strengths is very fulfilling and our performance soars. I love watching this happen.
I get a lot of requests for advice and coaching on how to develop one’s career. Sometimes it’s in the context of their current organization with a desire to grow and take on more responsibility and other times it’s to help people explore a career change or workplace transition.
Whichever path is chosen and whatever the goals are, there are a few nuggets of advice that I’ve doled out over and over again based on my experiences as well as observing what has worked for others.
Here are my top tips for growing your career:
State your intentions. It’s so important to let people know what you are interested in and why so they can help you. Helping can come in many forms: a door opened for you or advice or feedback on skills and experience you might need. Others can't read your mind or know what your goals are so you need to tell them.
Take initiative. Don’t wait for the plumb project to land on your lap or to be handed the next promotion. Go after it. Identify workplace problems that need to be solved and offer to take the lead to solve them instead of handing them to someone else. Interested in a certain department, job or company? Sending in your resume and waiting to see what happens will get lukewarm results. Instead, leverage relationships that might be able to offer insight and perspective on your aspirations.
Don’t stop learning. Look for learning moments and opportunities constantly, even if you think you are “ready” for the next move. The world changes so quickly and everyone benefits from staying current and fresh. You should never stop learning.
Stick to your values. Be mindful of getting caught up in an opportunity because you’re desperate (eek!) or someone is recruiting you heavily (totally flattering, I get it). Make sure you have a good level of awareness of what your values are and how your next move ladders up to those values. They should be your guiding North Star.
Enroll mentors and advisers. Inside your organization, they can become a champion and a dose of realism. Outside your organization, they can help you understand the marketplace and the transference of your skills. Either way, having someone in your corner that you trust and is honest with you about your career goals is a win-win situation.
Be open to the possibilities. Sometimes your pathway might take an unconventional turn or not be as linear as you originally thought. Take advantage of this and be open to what might come. When you ask for other’s perspectives, your plan might take a different shape and still get you to the destination even if that direction wasn't previously considered.
I have availability for career coaching clients starting in late March. Contact me for more information - it would be an honor to work with you!
"I worked with Christine as I considered an earlier career change. Christine asked thought-provoking questions, was a good listener, and gave me ideas to contemplate as I made my decisions. She provided a framework for thinking through my priorities, and she shared relevant stories of other career changes she had observed. We worked together for several months, and she guided me as I made commitments to myself to continue to pursue a change. Within a few months, I made a career move to a role that was a perfect fit for me , in the industry I really wanted to join. If you are contemplating a career pivot, I genuinely recommend working with Christine." Susan Jayne