Do you feel like you’re just floating along, silently moving from Monday to Friday? Maybe you long for something better or don’t understand why that promotion hasn’t happened yet. If you’ve been wandering around in no-mans-land at work, it’s time to take control of your career. Here are ten things you can do today to make that happen.
Get Clear About What You Want
You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going. Decide exactly what you want out of your career. Do you like where you’re at but want a promotion? Have you always dreamed of working for a bigger or better company? Don’t shy away from what you really want. Declare your ambition and make it crystal clear.
Stop Saying Yes to Things That Won’t Get You There
You can’t be a people pleaser and get ahead at the same time. While there is something to be said about being a team player and helping out your co-workers, you also need to understand when to say no. Stay focused on where you want to go and stop saying yes to things that send you a different direction or stall you right where you are.
Connect With Someone Who Is Already Where You Want To Be
Reach out to someone who is already doing what you want to do. It can be someone you know or just someone you respect and would like to connect with. Let them know you’d like to learn from them and ask them to mentor you as a part of your career growth. You might not know all the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goal, but they do because they’ve already done it.
Clean Up That Resume
Even if you don’t want to leave the company you currently work for, it’s always a good idea to keep your resume fresh and current. Be ready for any opportunity that might present itself. The last thing you want is to get caught sitting on your hands when your dream job opens up. There are plenty of other people ready to act on it, so be prepared.
Position Yourself on LinkedIn
If you’re not on LinkedIn, you should be. It’s THE place for professional connections. It’s like having an online portfolio, available for anyone to see at any time (like, future business partners or employers). LinkedIn is a great place to show off your work achievements, sell your strengths, and network with people who can help you get where you want to go. Also, it’s free, so you have no excuse. Do it today.
Create a Long Term Action Plan
It’s one thing to know what you want and where you want to be. It’s another thing entirely to know how to get there. You may need to do a little research or seek advice, but figure out what you need to do in order to move ahead. Then schedule those action steps on your calendar and start doing them. It’s only an action plan if you actually take action. Otherwise, it’s just a dream.
Set One Immediate Goal and Act on It Now
It’s really easy to get caught up in planning. You can spend days, weeks, months researching and learning how to land the perfect job. But you’ll never get there unless you start doing. One great way to break out of the planning stage and get motivated, is to just pick one thing and do it. All it takes is one little action step to get you going and you’ll start to pick up traction.
Know What You Are Good At
When it comes to building your career, you will have to sell yourself at some point. People want to know why you’d be good for their company or what makes you the right person for the promotion. Be ready with an answer. Write down all the things you’re really good at and things you’re passionate about in relation to your work. Don’t be afraid to sing your own praise every once in a while.
Boost Your Self-Confidence
If you don’t believe in yourself, neither will anyone else. You project the image people see of you and people respond to confidence. A confident person exudes positivity and that’s attractive. Don’t be timid and tip-toe your way around your career. Own it. Know that you are in control of your career and you can go where you want to go.
Build Genuine Relationships
It’s popular opinion that networking is one of the most important aspects of career growth. And it is. But a word of caution: don’t use people to get what you want. It’s shallow and rude and people can see it coming from a mile away. Build authentic relationships instead. If you want to establish a strong, long lasting career, do the same with the relationships you cultivate along the way.
You don’t have to be stuck where you are in your career, but you do need to act if you want to get anywhere. Use these steps to take control of your career today.
Do you have big plans for your future? How are you going to accomplish them? What steps are you taking today? Share in the comments below!
Feature photo: Brooke Lark/Unsplash