I consider myself wealthy, not based on money, but because I have so many opportunities available to me in my career. Successful professionals aren’t lucky. They’re what I call “career smart.” They make choices, decisions, and take risks every day with one purpose: to advance their career.
Being career smart is NOT about accepting whatever job is handed to you, but instead it’s about creating opportunities that allow you to have a career that inspires you.
Want to learn how to do it? Below are three of my biggest strategies to help you become career smart, create more opportunities and achieve a career that fills you with purpose, meaning, and passion!
- Get into a career where you can thrive (not just survive!)
It’s impossible to thrive in a career if you’re just going through the motions at work. If you’re walking around tired and bored, then others are sure to see you that way. You need to be in a career that challenges you, flexes your professional muscles, and excites you! How can you start that transition?
Think about what kind of work you WANT to be doing. Identify three key ingredients you need in your career to be happy and fulfilled such as leading teams, working on creative projects, developing new technologies, etc. Once you’ve defined the three key ingredients, then do whatever it takes to drive your career towards that vision.
- Share your value!
Everything you do and say sends messages to your senior managers, clients, networking contacts and potential employers. Your words, actions, presentations, status reports, resume, and interview responses all shape the perceptions others have about you. You should be sending a crystal clear message that focuses on the value that you consistently deliver to a company or client.Your “value” is a unique blend of your strengths, professional accomplishments, and personal characteristics such as being a good leader, risk taker, problem solver, strategic thinker, etc. All of these things combined make up your “value package” which makes you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues, business associates, and even job applicants. The key is to role model the “value” that you provide by consistently demonstrating it, living it and breathing it.
- Open your mind to new possibilities.
I love the funny saying, “If you want to make God laugh – tell him your plans.” 🙂 One of the biggest mistakes I ALMOST made was declining the privilege of serving on the American Marketing Association’s National Council. What a HUGE mistake that would have been! I narrowly was only looking at it as just another volunteer opportunity that would burden me with a list of task and deliverables. Fortunately, a mentor helped me see the bigger picture which was a tremendous gift that could strengthen my leadership skills, deepen my marketing expertise, broaden my professional network, and advance my career ten fold. (After accepting the position and serving just one year, I was named President of the AMA’s National Council which advanced my career up to a completely new level.)Be open to experiencing new career opportunities. You should be giving serious consideration to each and every possibility that comes your way. Never decline an opportunity without first getting a fresh perspective from people in your circle whom you respect.
Step up, branch out, and start being receptive to new possibilities. There are always opportunities around you. You just have to go after them! 🙂
Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books! Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily. To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360′s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.