the 5 secrets to fast-tracking your career

By in Leadership and People Who Achieve
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Each of us has the opportunity to influence and direct our careers much more than we may think.

Regardless of our positions, our industries, or the amount of bureaucracy we believe exists in our organizations, we have the power to be better masters of our own career destiny. While every organization is different, there are universal strategies and tactics that will serve us well anywhere and can help fast-track our careers.

1.  Take Ownership of Your Career    

Don’t expect others to be responsible for your career – create and manage your own future. Make the most of your current job and the opportunities offered by your organization. Start by fully understanding what’s expected of you and performing exceptionally in your current role. Then orchestrate further success by taking advantage of additional opportunities to create momentum and propel your career forward. Make your intention to exceed expectations known, and set the tone for others to step up their performance too.

2.  Consistently Deliver Great Work   

One of the critical success factors for advancing your career is consistently delivering great work. Define the ways in which you can optimally support your colleagues and the teams you serve on a regular basis, and be known as an effective collaborator and team player. Always do what is expected of you and go above and beyond whenever possible. Make it your mantra to under-promise and over-deliver on your commitments to build your reputation as someone who is reliable and can be counted on for quality contributions.

3.  Anticipate the Unexpected

In these days of lots of data and few insights, establish a reputation for being a forward thinker and helping others to do the same. Adopt a company-wide awareness to anticipate challenges and manage change before circumstances force your hand. Plan ahead, plan for the unexpected, and put yourself in a position to earn respect by showcasing your talent and leadership by anticipating alternative options and connecting the dots with disparate ideas that may lead to important insights when viewed collectively.

4.  Manage Your Brand    

Your workplace reputation is central to your career. Regardless of how good a worker you are, it’s often how others perceive your value and authenticity that propels you forward. Highly valued employees not only get the job done, they’re pleasant to work with and know how to amplify their impact and influence. Be conscious of your personal brand and proactively manage it to establish a stellar reputation and a track-record of success.

5.  Choose Your Colleagues Wisely   

While you likely can’t select your coworkers, you can choose to spend more time with those who sincerely support and assist you. Get to know your colleagues and begin to build deeper relationships with those who reciprocate and help you to succeed. Where you can, convert one-way relationships into ones that are more balanced and mutually beneficial so you can optimize your efforts – and your results.

There are many factors that can disrupt the momentum of your career that are beyond your control, but there are just as many aspects in which you do have control, and the five strategies described here are a winning formula for successfully managing your career.

By michelle m. smith, CPIM, CRP
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