Manage Your Career

Article / Leadership

Manage Your Career
Jennifer Baker , Coach, United Kingdom

5 Simple Tips to Manage Your Career

If you want to get ahead in your Career it is vital to plan and to plan well. A recent survey highlighted what keeps you most awake at night which are:
• Workload....just too busy
• Low Confidence in own ability
• Conflict with colleagues...Office politics
• Ability to manage changes
• Performance or results of your team
The survey indicated most of you would leave your success to chance or worse the onset of poor health to spur you into action. Over the past 6 years of helping managers and executives to be more successful I have noticed the most common reason people do not manage their career is a believe they are powerless to change it.
However the good news is with as little as 1 hour a week it is possible to transform your career and to reach your goals and aspirations.
Here are Five Simple Strategies you can implement straight away:
1. What is your aspiration, your vision? Get clear on what you want and why.
One year from now what would you like to achieve? Get specific.
For example, “by December 10th 2011 I have freed up 10 hours per week of my time”. Why? “To create time to think and plan strategically, producing better results”.
Write your vision down – get it out of wishful thinking and into the present!
Research and evidence has shown time again, written goals increase your chances of success a hundred fold.
2. Identify your strengths and turn up the volume.
List 5 strengths. What are your key qualities? If you struggle to answer this, ask 5 people whose opinion you trust and respect. Choose one strength and turn up the volume.
E.g. If you are a natural intellect, how can you harness this to solve a problem that has occurred with a customer this week? If you are a natural people-person, how can you apply this up to engage other people to step up and perform better?
In both examples, what behaviours could you demonstrate to reflect your best qualities even more?
3. Decrease to eliminate things that irritate you or that you’re tolerating.
Start by identifying what it is that bugs you the most. Make a list of 5 things.
Take action to change the situation or eliminate.
For example, Member of your team constantly arriving late for meetings. Talk to this person, is there a practical solution? Too many emails. Set up a ‘no-email Friday day’. Too much work – see tip 5 below.
Each time Brainstorm what’s possible, what do I want instead?
4. Take your vision and identify 5 top goals for 2011 that will transform your career - goals that will make a difference to you.
Break these down by choosing 5 things a week you can do. Commit, Be and Do.
Identify the skills, knowledge or other resources you may need to help.
Be in action. Remember imperfect action is better than no action.
Each week choose an easy step first, get some success. This will build your confidence and give you momentum. Build that momentum and confidence to take on the ‘harder’ goals.
5. Plan. Remember the adage; Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.
Take your vision and top 5 goals.
Develop a robust habit of planning - start with planning for 1 hour a week.
Block time in your diary. Literally. E.g. set a re-occurring appointment with yourself for every Friday afternoon from 4-5pm.
Review your goals. What worked well this week? What challenges are coming up next week?
Structure ‘Planning’ as a weekly routine in your diary.
As you master this to become habit, then schedule planning daily, 20 minutes is all you need.
Let me finish with by giving you a choice - What do you really want for 2011? More of the same? Will 2011 be your year for transformation, or will it be another ‘Ground Hog’ year.... ?
Don’t take my word for it, here’s what one Head of Department had to say...
“Having taken on a new role and area of responsibility, Jennifer helped me to focus on clarifying targets, exploring how best to approach the challenges I was facing and developing strategies for embedding the role in the organisation. The coaching techniques helped me to focus on my strengths and previous successes in relation to these new challenges. I found Jennifer’s questioning very challenging and development and I appreciated having the time to completely focus on myself and my role...I have already shared some of the strategies with colleagues. It has been a fantastic experience that I would wholeheartedly recommend to others.”
Jennifer Baker specialises in Career Development helping Managers and Executives be more successful. If you would like a free Detailed Career Audit please contact me.

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