In today’s workplace, it’s uncommon for companies to be concerned about keeping employees’ skills current or in preparing them to take on new responsibilities. Frequently, when a new competence is needed, Jane Doe will be out and John Shmoe will be in.
Here are 5 ways to protect and advance your career.
1. Understand what is expected of the person in your role. Be certain that you know what you will be evaluated on and the benchmarks of success. A good time to do this is at your next performance review. If your next review won’t take place for a while, type and print what you think the expectations are and have a sit-down with your supervisor to go over them. Ask for frequent feedback on what is going well and where you can improve. This is how you make sure you are on the right track now.
2. To advance you have to grow. Grow in the knowledge you need for what you are doing. Fill in the gaps, and everyone has them. Find out how your work affects your department, the bottom line, and the company goals. The more you know, the better you will be able to choose a direction, see the holes in your resume and prepare for the next step in this company or prep for your next move.
3. Be the person who sees where your product (that could be dental hygiene or AI and everything in between) is going. Find new uses and discover what might become obsolete. READ widely and go deep on a couple of topics!
4. Remember your high school Brag Sheet? Keep one at work. Keep track of in-servicing, outside training, new tasks you’ve taken on, certifications, and new skills you’ve developed. Regularly rate your performance on key tasks and other skills you’ve identified as helpful in fulfilling your role.
5. Ramp up your visibility with decision-makers. Attend events sponsored by your company, take on new responsibilities, cross over to assist other departments. Offer help. Think of this as networking within the company.
Here’s what Carter Cast from Harvard Business Review says: “It’s not always possible to get noticed by senior leaders through your direct work, so you might try volunteering for initiatives, such as charity work, company events, or on-campus recruiting. This is an easy but often overlooked way to rub elbows with senior people who will see you in action and ideally take notice of your contributions.”
Invest in yourself! Let me help you draw up a plan to secure your current position and prepare for your next one. Don’t wait for your future to come looking for you. firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-212-6679.
Access College and Career Consultants help students and families through the maze of college search, applications, essays and more. Call/text 610-212-6679 or email to discuss how we can help you navigate the college process.