Like it or not, we live in a do-it-yourself career development era. Companies don’t invest in their employees’ formal training as much as before. Unfortunately, this leads to skill gaps and blind spots among employees, which can get in the way of their career development, and ultimately, organization ineffectiveness:
However, you can take matters into your own hands. According to Harvard Business Review, here are ways for you to take control of your career:
- Understand how you’re being evaluated. What is the basis for success in your job position? It would be best if you can identify these alongside your manager. This is for you to have a better chance of attaining your professional goals.
- Solve your own blind spots. The best-performing professionals always look for ways to improve themselves. That’s why you should proactively seek feedback from your peers, bosses, and even subordinates.
- Put your learnings into writing. Capture the feedback you received, and put them into writing through a journal. List the 5 to 10 competencies or skills you need to work on and prioritize improvements on the ones you’re weakest at first.
- Increase your visibility with the higher-ups. It’s not always easy to get your bosses’ attention through your work output. That’s why you should make it a point to volunteer for company initiatives such as charity work or internal events. Rubbing elbows with them will help them see your contributions to the organization.
- Increase your importance within the team. Become the expert or go-to person in your department for disruptive issues such as artificial intelligence or the internet of things. Developing your expertise in areas of growing importance can lead to career opportunities.
- Seek good counseling. You should find a mentor who can help guide you to make good decisions to advance your career. The perspective of a senior person is invaluable.
If you’re looking to get promoted or to move to a more advanced position in a different company, you need to work on elevating yourself. It will be challenging, for sure, but anything worth having is worth fighting for.