Sunday 12 May 2013

How To Manage Your Career Life

Life at times can get hard. We have so many things to think of, so many errands to run, so much work to do...that every things outside these sphere of 'work' may seem just a little too much. At other times, we might  get stuck so much on our daunting daily tasks that we tend to neglect the overall state of our career. We seem to forget at times that we are, in essence, the architects of our career. We need to nourish our daily lives with the right vitamins that will boost our career life later on. 

Although you may have thought that by doing your job well, you are also taking good care of your career, this may just not always be the case. In many ways, your job and your career stand poles apart in that they require different skills and tasks.
Below are some key strategies that Muovo have found of brilliant help when it comes to managing your career:

1. Demonstrate your upward mobility.
Try to imagine how your boss might describe you to someone. If the description is less than fabulous, consider why and then kick your butt quickly into gear.

Start going to meetings with big, bold ideas, give your full attention to projects, volunteer for new assignments or stuff your boss is too busy for—and then knock it out of the park. Get a new haircut and a couple of great outfits to signal that you have your mojo back.

And don’t be afraid to verbalize your intentions to your boss. I got a note from a staffer after she received a promotion, and she ended it with the phrase, “Someday I want to be you.” It was the first time I realized how fiercely ambitious she was—and I liked that.

2. Be ready!
If you don’t have the right skills (public speaking, social media, whatever) for the next big job in your sights, get them.

Also, check out online the jobs you think you want. What are the full descriptions and necessary requirements? How can you position yourself to be a better candidate for those jobs?

3. Get out there—in person.
When you’re starting out, you network out of necessity to find a job. But further along in your career, it’s easy to let networking fall off because of time constraints. You need to keep it going at full throttle.

Ahead of any event, research key people who might be there. Approach them with specific talking points. (For instance, start with “Your article in X trade publication was terrific” and then ask a question about it.) Join conversations by first listening to what’s being talked about and then being inquisitive. Later, send new contacts links to info relating to what you discussed.

4. Volunteer to be on panels at events.
This is a great way to show people how much you know. (But be super-prepared and get media trained.)

5. Think “sponsor,” not just “mentor.”
A mentor gives you advice. A sponsor opens doors.

A mentor can also be a sponsor, but the bottom line is that you need to cultivate relationships with people who will make key introductions for you and not just dispense wisdom. (Studies, by the way, have shown that men are more likely to have sponsors than women.)

And you can’t wait for a sponsor to drop into your life. You need to cultivate these relationships. And you then have to be gutsy enough to ask for help—such as requesting an email introduction to a potential boss.

6. Take on one thing a week that nurtures your success.
For instance, attend a speech by someone in your industry or write a blog about your field. Go on YouTube to hear a motivational speech by someone wickedly successful, like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. And use this kind of time, too, to develop your “Big Mouth list” (all the people you email with important professional news about yourself).

7. Do the math—and then be strategic.
In many fields, there are points when you need to reach a certain level of achievement, or it’s not gonna happen. As a senior editor in my early 30s, I did the math and began to see that in the magazine field, if you didn’t make it to an editor-in-chief job by your late 30s or early 40s, the chances got really slim. That helped me start focusing on how much time I had and laying the foundation for it to happen.

8. Tap into your envy.
Let’s pretend for a second: A colleague just got offered a great job somewhere else. How irritated are you, really?

If you’re still thriving at your job, you probably will not be bothered by the person’s departure. But if you find yourself hating the person, it’s a warning. Allow your envy to point you to the fact that you’re overdue for a change.

9. Go for it.
When the right job comes up, you must ferociously go after it—even if it’s in your company. Tell them why you want it and what you will do for them.

Best wishes!

Adapted from Brazen Life's blog. 

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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