Growing Your Career

Today I want to talk about growing your career. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you’re climbing a corporate ladder, now is a great time to be reflecting on your career growth as we approach the end of the year. Too often, we abdicate this! Entrepreneurs simply ignore it and corporate employees tend to rely on their company or the boss to take care of it. They rely on others to take care of their own career growth! The thing is, your career growth is your own responsibility. And your obligation even.

So how do you do this? How do you direct your own career growth? Well, first of all, start with where you want to end up. What do you want long term, midterm and short term. Be specific. Paint a picture in your mind. Once you’ve got that image of where it is you want to be, then take a look at where you are today.

Be honest with yourself. You know where you are, what skills you have and how far along you are to that ideal career. And just be honest. It’s so important. This is for your use. And once you have those two endpoints you then need to find the gap, figure out what is missing from where you want to be and where you today. Once you know the gap, you can then find the roadmap (or development plan if you prefer) for closing that gap.

When you are designing your roadmap, think outside the box. Don’t limit yourself to just thinking about training. That is often how we think about development—we look for training classes and hope that we will get to where we want to be. But training is really just a small part of the overall picture, and not even the most important. When building the roadmap, think about experiences. What is it that you need to accomplish? What is it that you need to go through, live and experience to get there? Remember, very few people learn to swim by reading a book, the best learning is by doing. Think also about connections. Who am I going to need to know to get to that ideal place in my career? Look to the future, picture what your network looks like, and start making those connections now. And finally, think about results. The biggest precursor to career growth is strong results from your current job. Take a look at your job, and determine what results you can deliver that will help you advance. What does the company value? Who are the decision makers in your career, and what results will get you on their radar? Once you know these key result areas, focus on and deliver them.

This is a simple and easy approach to really taking ownership of your career growth. Now is a great time to grab the bull by the horns. What are you going to do in 2021 to fill in a gap?

As we all deal with the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on our day to day lives, it's important to step back and take the time to care for ourselves. Here are some of the things that are worth consciously working on in the coming weeks.

SPEND TIME WITH LOVED ONES, especially children. In today’s busy world often our time with the ones we love gets put on the back burner. As events, activities, and schools cancel….and more and more people work at home, now is a great chance to get caught up with each other.

REDISCOVER THE SIMPLE THINGS. There was a time when we weren’t “on the clock” 24/7, when our children weren’t spending each evening in activities… when life was a routine. With much of that canceled for the near term, now is an opportunity to have family dinners, play games, read that book that you can never get to. Take a step back from the complications of the world. Take a breather.

FIND THE GOOD IN THINGS. We are bombarded all day and night with the negative things that are going on. There is much criticism over governments, mass hysteria, other nations, etc. But there are good stories out there as well. Stories of people helping people. While it's a shame that we have to work hard to find these, it is worth the effort.

Last, and most importantly, KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET. It is so easy to succumb to the negativity that flows from a crisis such as this one. But keeping a positive mindset is one of the best things that you can do during this time. Positive energy will help you maintain your health, be productive, and reduce stress. Moreover, it is contagious. Everyone that you come in contact with (from 6 feet away of course) will be affected by your energy, even if just a little bit. And the more positive energy that is released into the world, the better this situation will be and the quicker it will resolve.


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