OK, I get it. Talking about managing your career isn’t the sexiest thing to talk about, but someone has to. You spend more time working than anything else other than sleeping. Isn’t it worth it, to spend that time feeling good about what you’re doing? And where you’re headed?
You can go back to thinking about your kids, your friends or the new game on your computer in just a second.
Your career will “happen” with or without your attention. It won’t stand still nor will you. Due to a variety of circumstances, such as change in business, change in boss and how well you perform your job, your career will never move in a straight line. Despite the weaving it will do, you can largely control its trajectory but it does require your attention.
It’s unfortunate that too many people simply assume that if they perform well, that the career will take care of itself. That is a huge assumption and so is thinking that management has your back. That is relinquishing a lot of control and decision making to either others or fate. Would you turn over your bank account to management? Or to no one? Would you turn over your car, your child, and your future to ..no one?
There is probably no real diagnosis for the lack of attention to your career but there are some pain-free things you can to steer it in the right direction.
Don’t worry, this won’t take long and it won’t suck up a bunch of your time.
Pain-free career management:
1- Figure out where you want to be in 6 months or the next 2 years. Sounds simple but most people don’t even do that.
- It’s pain-free because all you have to do is think. Sure, you might want to think by asking people questions and having discussions. You to that every day.
2- Pay attention to office politics, as it will have a bearing on your career.
- Again, pain-free as all you have to do is pay attention to who is influencing who, who’s getting ahead and behind and why.
3- Pay attention to what is going on with the business conditions.
- What can I say? Paying attention is a very unrated activity but when you do, you’ll know when big decisions are taking place that might impact you.
4- Talk to influencers and decision makers about what you need and want.
- These people will have a huge impact on your career but if you don’t let them know what you want for your career, they’ll assume anything must be okay.
- Simply developing relationships with these people will create supporters when your career needs it the most.
5- Take actions that matter, not just taking action which won’t do you any good
- OK, this requires that you drop your game station but action is control – and isn’t that really what you want?
- This doesn’t require that you do something every day or all the time, it’s taking the right actions when it will make the biggest difference.
Before I let you return to the comfort of your computer surfing, let me end by saying you have more control over your career than you may realize. It’s yours to take and you will like the result when you start managing your career.
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