Today’s economy is a little crazy in that we are at 7.3% unemployment, and at the same time, there is an increase in hiring at 204,000 new jobs in October 2013, according to the government reports.
We are all leaders when it comes to our careers. With the flattening of organizations, our managers have less time to work with us on our career development. It is up to us to step up, plan, and determine the best path to get where we want to go in our careers.
Where to start?
Create a vision for where you want to go.
Ask yourself: What do I want to be? What do I want to do? What do I want to experience? As the late George Harrison said in his song “Any Road” for the album “Brainwashed,” “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.” If you can articulate the vision, then others can more easily help you get there.
What knowledge, skills, abilities do you need to get there?
If you are currently employed, then how can you hone/build the knowledge skills and abilities you need to get to the next job while you’re still in this one? If the next role will require more strategic planning abilities – how can you get that in your current job? If you can’t get strategy skills in the work you’re currently doing, then what project can you volunteer for that will help you gain that skill? Let your manager know what you’re doing so they can 1 be on the lookout for opportunities for you, and 2) watch you grow so you will be top of mind the next time a position opens.
Who do you know who knows you?
It used to be that you got a job by who you know. But really, it’s not just who you know, but who you know who knows you! With the advent of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc., many of us are connected with hundreds of people. However, how many of them, if you reached out to them today, would be able to really recommend you because they actually know you?
Porter Gale wrote a book entitled Your Network is Your Net Worth. I love that title. If you don’t cultivate, be consistent and diligent in building relationships, whether it is in person or digitally, your career net worth is virtually bankrupt.
Create an Influence Map to help you see who can help you, or influence those who can help you. Make sure that your network extends beyond your current company. This is vital.
The average Millennial assume they’ll stay in a job less than 3 years – meaning they’ll have between 15-20 jobs in their careers. Most Baby Boomers stayed in a job an average of 4.6 years and had 11 jobs in their careers – over half of those jobs were when they were 18-24 years old. Whichever generation you fit in, you will almost be guaranteed to not have your current job for the rest of your life.
So, what do you want to do next? What do you want to do ultimately? What are you going to do today to get you where you want to go tomorrow? And, when was the last time you updated your resume?