3 Quick Ways To Advance Your Career

Lead, So Others Will Follow

Managers never stop trying to better themselves and advance their careers.  To be an effective leader, you have to give your team a reason to follow you.  People want someone to look up to.  They want someone who leads by example and who cares about their success.  Leaders never stop learning – whether it’s reading books, articles, or blogs – they always look for ways to increase their knowledge and skills.  Leaders know that success is a journey and they constantly pursue it.

Here are 3 quick ways you can advance your career:

Forecast

The past is history, the future is a mystery, and the present is a gift.  History is a moment ago, or a lifetime ago, and can’t be changed.  You can, however, learn from it.  Analyze what happened, find the lesson, and move on. The future is unknown but being prepared is a strength all good leaders possess.  Learn to forecast, to look ahead, and you can prevent issues from ever happening.  You will also be able to make better, more educated decisions.  The moment you are in is indeed a gift. The opportunities you will be given as a manager will range from a small decision with little impact, such as what time to close the office for lunch, to business-altering decisions that will mean success or failure.  Relish in these moments, but remember you are leading a team and they will be watching your every move.

Formulate

Once you have learned to forecast, you will have the information you need to formulate a strong plan of action.  Take an inventory of your assets, your team’s strengths, and delegate accordingly.  It is your responsibility to make sure you communicate your vision to your team.  Don’t leave room for interpretation; everyone should have a clear understanding of what you expect and of what the goals are.

Trust

Once you forecast, create a plan of action and delegate to your team based on their strengths.  Determine the keys for success and assign the right person for each job.  Trust they will successfully complete their assignments.  This is very important, as you will be expected to start planning the next project.  You will still need to manage the completion of the project, but you should be able to rely on your team to do the heavy lifting.

As you start your next project, keep these things in mind:  Look to the future instead of the past, create a plan of action, educate your team, delegate, and trust your team to successfully complete their assignments.  And remember: success is a journey, not a destination.

3 Quick Ways To Jump Start Your Career

Sometimes we all feel we are in a rut, both in our personal and professional lives.  You may feel you are stuck in your current position with no chance for advancement.  This is even more reason to work on your professional development.  Create your own opportunities and watch the doors open up. Here are 3 quick ways to jump start your career.

Communication

I can’t stress it enough…  Communication is the key to your success.  How you talk to your team, your leadership, even your clients, will determine how you progress in your career.  The impression you make on someone with what you say, and how you say it, may mean the difference between landing that contract or not.  Be confident in yourself, supportive of the team, and respectful of other’s time.  Speak succinctly and in terms understood by all.  There is no need to show off your voluminous vocabulary!

Request Feedback

It may sound like a simple thing, yet it is rarely done.  Even as a manager, you will report to someone.  Do not hesitate to ask for their advice.  Find out what you can do to increase your productivity.  Chances are, they will be more than willing to assist you.  This also will help you when your team comes to you for feedback.  You will realize someone was there for you, and now you can do the same.  Just keep your requests to what you really need help on.  Start to ask about every little thing, and people might question your ability.

Manage Your Time

Create a schedule and stick to it.  This may seem obvious and, yet, it does not get done.  Create a list of tasks and organize them by priority.  Be conscious of the time you spend on any task.  It is not necessary to check your email every few minutes.  Once in the morning and once in the afternoon is fine.  Check them, respond to them, and file them.  Never touch the same email twice.  You can use this same philosophy with memos, files, and other paperwork throughout your day.

There are plenty of ways to advance your career, but if you are looking for a quick jump start…  work on your communication, request feedback, and manage your time.  It sounds simple because it is.  You will see improvement right from the start.

Selecting The Right Team Member for Advancement

Now that you are a manager, it is your job to scout out potential candidates for advancement within your company.  This is a great responsibility and must be treated as such.  You have to be fair to your team while keeping the company’s interests in mind.

Not Everyone is Management Material

We all have that rock star employee: in early, out late, meets or beats all deadlines…  just owns the position from day one.  All that still does not make them a fit for a management position.  You must know your team members – their ambitions, skills, and personalities – in order to determine the direction, they are destined for within the company.  When you are considering an employee for advancement, find evidence to support your decision then move forward.

Narrowing the Field

You have established your final candidates for a management position.  They are all “qualified” to take on the role, but do they understand it?  Have you been clear about the commitment which will be required?  Do they have the passion, drive, and desire that it takes?  More importantly, are they a good leader?  They need to have the knowledge, skills, and attitude to perform the job, but they also need to have superior people skills and the ability to lead.  The right person will have their own management style but will put the needs of the company first.

Management Takes More Than Book Smarts

Education and experience are important, but lack of either should not be grounds for dismissing someone as a possible manager.  Leadership development can happen in a number of ways.  Perhaps they held a leadership position in a club or coached a team. The most important thing is their ability to guide the team to success and that requires skills that go beyond education.

(They’ve Got) Personality

Personality is one of the most important things to look for in a candidate.  The way they get along with co-workers in their current position will speak volumes about their potential to lead.  If they are taking initiative and assisting others, chances are they will exercise that same team mentality as a manager.  Note their reaction when given constructive criticism.  If they take it in stride and implement the advice, they might be ready to make the move into management.  If not, it is not necessarily a deal breaker, they just might need more time to grow.

Don’t Rush It

You are not looking for a perfect person, you are looking for a person perfect for the job. You can’t rush this process.  Take your time and get to know the candidates beyond their resume.  Remember, someone once gave you a chance.  Now it is your turn.