Networking is an essential skill to enrich your career. No matter what stage of your career you are in, you should be building and maintaining a network. This article includes tips to establish a network, deepen your connection with new contacts and maintain a healthy network.
In the last year, I have been undergoing a considerable career change and transformation to coaching and training. This blog series will talk about the different stages of that change, how it came about and what I’ve learned from the experience so far. Three years ago, I was still dreaming of making a change without a clue how to go about it. I’ve come a long way baby, but there is still a long, long way to go!
A successful career requires planning and a vision. My last blog, Job vs career, which do you have? focused on how to build a career vision. Once you have a vision, you need to have a plan. Setting career goals for yourself and acting on your goals helps you to stay on track. This blog will take you through a few ways to get organized and get started with career planning.
As you move up in your career, the tactical execution skills which brought you this far will begin to take a back seat to more strategic skills. So, what can you do to prepare to go from tactical to strategic and start to demonstrate strategic thinking?
Do you have a job but not a career? Are you worrying about the next layoff in your organization? Have you been coasting along based on the last job or jobs you’ve done? Do you wish you were doing something else but don’t know what? Stop putting off taking a closer look at your next career move – take charge of your career.
There’s a huge difference between having a job vs career. We have a job. A job is a defined role for specific pay. We do it with our paychecks in mind. We may learn some specific skills on the job, but without the context of progressive achievement, the skills we learn take us nowhere in particular. We are only focused on our specific role and pay little attention to other roles.
Whether you are exploring or working in a new domain, or an old hand at what you do, having a professional network you can tap into is a precious commodity. Ideally, you are cultivating your network continuously. Many people find themselves on the job market suddenly and set about networking to find a job.
Whether you are building a new team or launching a new project, you’ll need to establish a management system to keep things on track. If you are stepping into an established role, you will want to evaluate the management system that already exists.
Since I overcame my fear of public speaking, I’ve received some compliments on my relaxed and natural speaking style. It still seems astonishing to me that anyone would want to know my “secrets” on speaking with confidence in public.
I will end my blog series with a tip which just may find itself into every list I create. Your attitude matters. To me it matters more than anything else. I do recognize though that there are successful people who only leverage the first four areas and succeed in moving forward in their careers. I
The theme of the last tip on sponsors would seem to be don’t underestimate the power of your network. The truth is that all the tips are entwined. How to leverage your network is also the core theme for this one too. Now I want to talk about mentors.
Even if you are at the top of your game, it will be hard to make some moves without a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who will fervently recommend you being in the job you want to be in, and has influence with the hiring manager or organization. Sometimes, your boss can be your sponsor.
The first blog in this series focused on continuous learning. Ok, so you’re super skilled and constantly learning, but are you focusing your learning on not only what you need right now or on the learning which will take you to the next level? Having career goals is critical, not only to your learning plan but for every day networking and seeding the path to your future.
In my 23 years at IBM, I went from being a bi-lingual secretary to being a Director of Marketing. It was a hell of a journey. I won’t call it a ride because it sure never felt like I was sitting down and letting someone else do the driving. While not every career move I made was orchestrated, the most important ones definitely were.
Whether you are joining an established team as a new leader or kicking off one with all new people, you are starting at ground zero. As a new leader, you have a lot to learn and to do, but I believe you should always take the time to create a unique relationship with your team members.