5 Easy Steps to Elevate your Career
Do you find yourself yawning and dozing off at work? Wish you were somewhere other than in your office? Are you wondering why you’re still not getting that promotion?
When you think you’ve hit a slump in your career, then maybe you have to do some introspection. Have you set the right goals and proper time-frame to achieve them? What steps have you taken to improve yourself? Are you on the right track?
What Drives You?
You may have started your work all bright and bushy tailed but now, you seem to be lacking the enthusiasm that you used to have. What could have gone wrong? Is it you or is it the company?
If changing careers is not the answer to your question, then ask yourself what you want to do. Do you want to improve on your current position? Would you like to transfer to another department? There is no need to be anxious as there are career enhancement programs and assessment tools out there to help you determine whether your current skill set is right for the job you’re in now.
When you find yourself with these questions, then perhaps it is time to take a good look at your career map. Better yet, start with a clean slate and take the time to really ponder on what is important to you. Here are five easy steps to help you elevate your career and inject new life to your professional journey:
1. Set Specific Goals
You may have made a wish list when you started. You wanted to be promoted. You wanted to be the number one salesperson. You wanted to get that trip incentive.
But did you make a specific plan on how to achieve all your goals? Setting a clearly defined goal will help you to have more direction. You will see the steps you need to take to reach that ultimate point.
This time around, identify what goals really matter to you. Think of what you need to do to achieve them. Will you need to enroll in workshops such as leadership coaching programs, for instance, to enhance your skills? Do you need to network more? What strategies will make you more efficient and productive? List them down and stick to a more defined plan.
2. Tackle that Time-frame
A famous quote from author Diana Sharf-Hunt says that, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.”
Take this to heart and set a realistic time-frame for your goals. How soon do you want to be promoted? In a year or two? You want to take a European vacation. How long should you work for it? Identify the amount of time you need to be able to achieve your goals.
3. Be Realistic
You have set specific goals and the time you want to achieve them. Now, pause and ask yourself if these are realistic. You need to remember that you should set sensible expectations.
You also have to prepare for setbacks. As in any journey, you encounter forks in the road. There will also be potholes, rocky paths, and the occasional storm or two. In your career, know that there will be factors that will be beyond your control. For example, you set a target to be top car salesperson of the year by selling 50 cars a month. However, this won’t be realistic if you only have 20 cars in your inventory.
4. Listen and Talk
You also need to remember to keep your ears on the ground. Actively listen to what is happening around you. What is management saying for the next quarter? What does your team need? What do other divisions need help with? By listening to what your team, your colleagues, and your company needs, you can assess whether you can contribute to the solution.
At the same time, you should also make the effort to talk to management about your personal goals. Set aside a time to talk to your immediate supervisor and ask what you can do to improve yourself. Get feedback from your superiors and teammates. Their comments and suggestions will inform you of things that you don’t necessarily see on your own.
5. Don’t Forget Yourself
With all the goals that you want to meet and achieve, there is a risk that you might forget to care for yourself.
Always remember to take care of yourself first. Avoid skipping meals or lacking too much sleep. In your desire to win the race, you may neglect yourself and your relationships. Do not work to the point of exhaustion as this will lead to burn out or, worse still, health issues.
Focus on your well-being so you will be in tip-top shape to do what you need to achieve your dreams.
Success is a Process
When you want to achieve something, then you must not only work hard. More important than working hard is working smart. You have to be strategic in mapping out your goals, set realistic expectations and timelines, and practice self-care to efficiently reach the pinnacle of success.
True success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, dedication, and action to make it happen.
Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.