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Want to fly up the career ladder? Here are the self-help mantras that’ll give you a leg up on the competition...
Looking to get the most out of your workday? Doing the same routine day in and day out, it’s incredibly easy to get stuck in a career rut and feel that your strengths and work skills are starting to go, well, a little bit stale.
To ensure you keep focused and make positive strides in the workplace, we asked Managing Director of Personal Career Management Corinne Mills for her advice and top 6 tips when it comes to recharging our mindsets and realising our ambitions. “It’s about proactive career management rather than waiting for opportunities,” explains Corinne. Whether you’re looking to brush up on your interpersonal, communication, management or leadership skills, these simple but effective 9-5 mantras are certain to help create a solid foundation from which to climb the career ladder from.
Look up from your emails and from the task at hand and go and talk to people. One of the most important things about work is building positive relationships with others and networking.
Sometimes, it’s easy when you have a task, to drill down and get too task-focused. Remember though to get up from your desk, walk around, go into other people’s offices or use the phone to speak with others because the more you build relationships, the more career leverage you’ll have. It’s about the people you know and the experiences they have with you that create future opportunities. These experiences are much more meaningful in person or on the phone than if they know you through email.
Make a note of the good things you’ve been able to achieve. Most people will have an appraisal once a year or a manager’s meeting once a week or month and it’s easy to only speak about the problems you’ve had. You end up forgetting to tell them about the good things that you did and the problems you resolved. So as you go along, make a note of the things you’ve managed to achieve for yourself so you can communicate them to your manager. This is very important as your career is not only about doing a good job, it’s about telling people about the good job you’ve done.
Look out for examples of where you think people have handled things well. Observe how they dealt with a difficult situation. For example, if you’re worried about a presentation, observe how they did one and what worked. It’s about actively looking out for examples every day of good practice that you can learn from.
Try and take a lunch hour and use it ideally creatively to go out and meet with people - go out for coffee with a colleague or somebody you used to work with for example. Again, it’s all about building relationships. It’s very important to take a mental break so you can go back to work refreshed.
Look for new ideas. It’s not just about what you do, it’s about what you do that is over and above what’s been asked of you. Think about how you would improve things with your job, how you’d make a task more efficient, a new system, interaction with other departments, changes to your database or a form customers have to fill in. Managers love people who can actively contribute those ideas, so get yourself an ideas list.
Set yourself career management targets for where you want to go. Time flies and before you know it, it’s 2 years later when you were expecting to be there for 6 months. Therefore, it’s worth giving yourself a target of what you want to achieve in your career.
Remember to be realistic. Perhaps you can set yourself an aim in the first 6 months to get to know all of the key people in an organisation or to start implementing some changes, within a year it might be to develop further knowledge and expertise in a particular area or looking to progression and having discussions with your boss and thinking about where else you can go next. In 2 years’ time, it might be to use your current job as leverage to find a new job in a particular sector.
It’s about setting yourself shorter term and intermediate targets of where you want your career to be and it should sit on top of your day-to-day tasks to act as a proactive part for your own agenda alongside what the organisation wants you to do in that role.
October 15th 2021