What Are Your Career GoalsAuthor: Catherine Pulsifer, © 2017
Do you know what your career goals are? What job did you want to get. Are there secrets to reaching a career goal. The words of Christopher Morley often entered my thoughts during my career: "The fellow who doesn't need a boss is often selected to be one."
Do you need someone to tell you what to do, when to do it, and how to do it?
One of the first questions to ask yourself is whether or not you wish to take more responsibility for your career, or for your current job? The answer to this question will give you insight into whether or not you wish to develop your career to a more fuller extent, or if you wish to keep doing your current job the way it is outlined to you by your supervisor. That is to say whether yo prefer to follow exactly what, when and how to do your current job.
On the other hand, if you are the type of person who is constantly on the look out for new and better ways to do your job or a person who takes the initiative to perform a task before it is even asked or if you are a person who loves to discover and learn new skills or procedures than you have answered the above question. Your answer already shows that you are not satisfied with doing the same job, the same way, or in the same manner day in and day out.
Do You Take The Initiative?If you answered the above question in the affirmative, you have made a statement that says you are motivated to go beyond what the usual dictates of the job are. It means that you do not wait to be told what to do or when to do it or how to do your work. It means that when there is an opportunity to go the extra mile you take it.
For example, let's say you are an automobile mechanic. You have just finished up a job and there are no customers waiting for service. What do you do? Do you stand around waiting or go and have a coffee break? Or, do you take the initiative and ask the garage supervisor if there is something else that needs to be done? Or, do you take what time you have between jobs and repair a tool that needs fixing or even cleaning?
The point is that no matter the job you are in there are always things that can be accomplished that are over and above what you have been instructed to do. This initiative is advancing your role whether you have thought consciously about it or not. The people who reap the rewards are those who go beyond their assigned duties.
Is Your Attitude Solution Oriented Rather Than Problem Focused?Have you ever been stuck when you are driving your car? What did you do? Did you get all bent out of shape and bemoan your bad luck? Did you sit behind the wheel of your car and blame your car for lack of traction or blame yourself for lack of better driving skills that may have prevented you from getting stuck in the first place? Pardon the pun but if you thought this way, you ate stuck in the problem.
Or, on the other hand did you immediately refocus your mind on a solution or solutions to try and get yourself out of your 'stuck' position rather than be mired in the problem? If finding a solution to your problem is your focus then you are solution oriented rather than problem focused. I know that this is a simple example but it makes the point.
Over the years, I have witnessed, first hand, team members being hung up on the problem they face rather than putting their collective minds to work on devising a solution to the issue. Here is the point.
To be solution oriented is a benefit to your organization no matter what type it is. The behavior demonstrated by being solution oriented says to your employer that they can count on you to help move the yardsticks forward. And, in today's fast paced work environment there is nothing to be gained by remaining focused on the problem. Companies, or any organization as a matter of fact, depend on quick resolutions to issues facing them. The reason for this need to move beyond the problem and work to find a solution often becomes the difference between a profitable company and a company that may find itself losing financial ground to its' competitors.
Not Sure WhyNow, let's turn our attention to why some people are unaware why they are bypassed for promotion. Some people think promotions should be given by seniority only. If they stopped and objectively looked at the differences between themselves and the person who got the promotion, they would discover, if they really wanted to, why they did not receive the promotion.
Some people mentally quit their job years ago but their body still goes to work every day. These types of people are quite willing to let others do their work for them. They are not solution oriented, their attitude is one that the company owes them a living. However, in the end, they are the ones who usually suffer.
Here Are Key IngredientsAs you work towards a successful career, remember "RIPE":
R eliable - be reliable in many ways - just showing up for work everyday is not what I am referring to, be reliable in offering to do more, to present solutions, to help others
I nitiative - take the initiative, do more and learn more than is expected , share your learning's, make suggestions for improvement, do not wait for someone to tell you what to do, just do it
P ositive - have a positive attitude , this makes all the difference. You can teach anyone new technical skills but you cannot teach attitude, this is completely within your control, you decide the type of attitude you demonstrate
E nthusiasm - your enthusiasm will rub off on others! Be the person who others come to for solutions, don't let others get you down.
These personal attributes can readily assist your goals toward a successful career.
What Role Does Luck Play?Now, you also be thinking that luck has played a role in someone getting promoted over you. If you do, that luck you may refer to is luck that was created and initiated by the person all on their own. This is not luck that saw them be in the right place when a job came open either; instead, this is a person who prepared to be promoted by doing whatever it took to advance their own expertise even if that meant that they would attend part-time courses or seminars and by paying for these without any assistance from their company.
It is not a matter that one cannot be better at work and position themselves to get ahead. It is more a matter that most people, from my experience, expect that simply by showing up for work that they can get promoted, or even, worse, that they deserve it despite the fact they are unwilling to do no more than what is expected.
A Perfect ExampleThere was a young man who used to work for me who decided that his chosen profession was not working in my industry but as an actor; this was his passion and his goal. He worked for me for only a short time and all the while was preparing for a whole new adventure. And an adventure that he was more than willing to do whatever he had to in order to make it his reality. He left my area, and I never heard too much about him until one day I was watching a new TV series and there he was in a lead role. The series went on for several years and just recently aired their last show.
The Messages Are ClearTwo key messages: the first being that if you do not have a passion for what it is you currently do, find one that really excites you and go full steam ahead and do everything possible to get there.
The second message is that you need to prepare for what it is you want to do even if this means that you need to do something else in the meantime to pay your bills.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:"All you need is passion. If you have a passion for something, you'll create the talent." Yanni
"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail." Benjamin Franklin
"I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it." Denzel Washington
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