As I celebrate 7 years in business, I am taking this opportunity to share 7 career tips, which stand out from the hundreds of hours of career coaching, career development programmes and sessions I have completed since founding my business in 2016 and from consuming lots of content on the topic.
1. Learn about and harness your energising strengths. When you spend time using your energising strengths you will benefit from feeling more confident and resilient. Ensure the role you are in allows you to use them. If you don’t, there is a good chance you will find yourself more drained and like you have lost your mojo. To discover yours, reflect on what activities you have been doing when you feel like the time has flown by and you are buzzing. Or try the free starter profile from Strengths Profile.
2. Get comfortable talking about your achievements. As Sally Helgesen says in How Women Rise, there are two big mistakes people make: firstly a reluctance to claim your achievements and secondly expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your contributions. So for career success you need to find authentic ways that work for you to talk about what you have delivered. Stop downplaying it. Stop immediately saying it was nothing, it was everyone else, and giving all the credit to everyone else.
3. Increase your visibility. A build on the above. According to research by Harvey Coleman, 60% of career success comes down to our exposure – others knowing who we are and what we do. So stop keeping your head down and working hard. Stop once in a while, look up and out to get involved with wider activities. Don’t consistently put your short-term day job goals above your long-term career goals. They are both important. For more read my earlier blog Why just being great at your job won’t get you promoted.
4. Keep in touch with your professional contacts. One of the greatest regrets my clients share, when they find themselves needing help with finding a new role, is that they neglected their work friends and professional connections. While many people want to network more, 84% of people I surveyed said they don’t proactively diarise time for keeping in touch. Just an hour a week makes a significant difference. For more read Doing these two easy things will help you network more.
5. Do what you want to do, not what you think you should do. Get clear on what matters to you not what other people think you should do. Then create a plan to achieve it, even if it’s a long-term goal. I am a fan of a Vision Board, but there are many ways to do this. The important thing is to articulate what matters to you and why. Try to put aside what everyone else wants for you and be honest with yourself. Don’t settle. Don’t stay in a job that makes you miserable.
6. Say ‘no’ more. Don’t rush to say ‘yes’ to every request. Hold on before volunteering for every little thing. Be more strategic in how you spend your time and what you choose to focus on. I recently read about the concept of non-promotable tasks (NPTs) in the brilliant book The No Club. It shares practical tips for working out what are the things that really matter for career success in your organisation and aligning your time and energy accordingly. Don’t take on an unfair amount of the work admin and chores.
7. Make little changes. It’s not all or nothing! You don’t need to move from a quiet, humble, hardworking soul to a loud, brash bragger. But do nudge yourself a little way. Connect a bit more. Talk about your work a bit more. Show up to things instead of cancelling. Claim an achievement once in a while. You can still be true to you and your values and also invest in yourself and your career aspirations.
Be brave, choose what matters to you and go and make it your reality!
For lots of free resources, head to my Resources Page.
And if you are thinking of working with a career coach, do get in touch.