Friday, December 18, 2009, AM | 3 Comments
How would you go ahead and advance in your career? Some say you have to be a hard worker, others say you have to be a smart worker. Peter Drucker popularized the phrase knowledge worker. No matter how you slice it and what terminology you use, it comes down to some essential characteristics to advance your career in your profession.
Know and understand your company’s Mission
Your company’s mission should be displayed in hallways and other places. If not, ask Human Resources for one. Study it. Understand it and follow it no matter what position you are working in.
Have a Vision for your career
Where do you want your career to go? Five years from now. Ten years from now. A vision needs to be abstract enough to encourage yourself to imagine it but concrete enough to follow it, understand it and be willing to fulfill it. Make sure you understand the difference between your career vision and your career day-dreaming.
Have professional Goals
How are you going to work for the company’s Mission and your career Vision and how will you measure your progress? Your professional goal must be to follow the company’s mission and in turn to advance your career. Like a vision, goals need to be operational, specific and measurable. If your output and results can’t be readily measured, then it will be difficult to know if you have achieved your purpose. Let the management know what your professional goals are and along the way ask for help if need be.
Be a Competent worker and be seen as such
You must be a competent worker in your profession. Go to school if you have to. You must let your managers and coworkers know and understand the value of your work. You must finish what you started to the satisfaction of your supervisors.
Always be a strong Team worker
This ability is what sets excellent workers apart from others. However, you need to be willing to admit to lack certain abilities and go about finding trusted colleagues to complement those deficiencies. The reverse must be true as well. Be willing and go out of the way to help your coworkers in their deficiencies in areas that you feel you are stronger.
Have excellent Professional Communication skills
It does little good to follow the above points if you cannot easily and effectively convey your achievements to your managers. You must, therefore, be regularly in touch with key managers and colleagues, by email, v-mail, meetings, or other forms of correspondence.
Have excellent Interpersonal Communication skills
Successful and smart workers are comfortable relating to other people. They easily create relationship of mutual understanding or trust and agreement between people and are at least more extroverted than they are introverted.
Have a Can-Do attitude
You can be genuinely successful only through your achievement, and achievement is the number one factor that motivates just about everyone across all cultures. With your can-do attitude, you can “motivate” your managers (the reverse is always true) to recommend you for advancement. When your managers see that you have a clear vision and attainable goals, and actually gain results in a timely manner, then your credibility increases throughout the organization in general and your department in particular.
Inspire your coworkers especially the junior ones
Quite often, you need someone to look up to for direction, guidance, and motivation. The same can be said for your junior coworkers. Inspire them to work harder and smarter. There are times, when you need to inspire them by word or action. Your juniors need someone to look up to, admire, and follow.
Have Ambition in your professional life
You need to be constantly striving for improvement and success. When you are seen as someone who works to attain increasingly higher goals, your managers will be impressed and more willing to help you advance in your career.
In a Nutshell
Practically speaking, not all workers immediately possess all of the characteristics that spell success. As crises and challenges arise in your profession, those at your level have key opportunities to demonstrate to others that you are in fact qualified to advance in your career.