The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on your career and plan your next move. It might seem like you’re a long way off from that cushy corner office or that management role you’ve been dreaming of, but the greatest success stories start with one single step. Begin today, knowing that you have to keep working hard every single day!
Here are six strategies for starting 2019 off right.
1. Communicate your goals
Help people help you by being open and honest about what you want in a career. You probably have a pretty clear picture about where you want your professional life to go, but you can’t do it alone! If you’re interested in a promotion or a management position, let people know. They can help advocate for you and keep you mind when a role opens up.
2. Speak to your audience
This involves having some self-awareness. You want to advocate for yourself and your career goals, but you don’t want to seem too self-involved or arrogant. Prepare an elevator pitch that allows you to share some of your accomplishments and goals, but remember that humility can be a virtue. Have a conversational, friendly tone with each person you approach, not an overly aggressive, desperate one.
3. Start small
Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step! You can’t get promoted or successfully obtain a new job if you’re not doing your current job. First you have to earn the trust and respect of your colleagues and supervisors. Execute each of your tasks to the greatest of your abilities so those people can vouch for you when they’re eventually approached as one of your references.
4. Seek solutions
No body wants to hear excuses why ideas won’t work! Instead focus on open-ended suggestions and questions that might draw out a solution. For example, if you can’t accomplish a certain task that’s requested of you today because you simply don’t have enough time, begin searching for other ways that task could be completed today. Who else might be able to do it? Can you put off another duty that will allow you to do this one? Or can the task simply wait until tomorrow?
5. Use technology
Technology can make our lives faster and easier so use it to your advantage! Use it to organize, scan, sign, and send documents. You can share information in real time, track progress, and manage schedules. If you can use these tools to make your work more efficient, you’ll be more productive and more valuable.
6. Grow your network
As noted before, you can’t find success on your own. You need to establish a teak of mentors, sponsors, and champions—people who will advocate for you, advise you, and encourage you. Stay in touch with them, keep them apprised of your progress, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it.
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