How do you manage your career?
Do you wait for opportunities to be presented to you or do you actively create opportunities for yourself?
There are many ways for you to advance your career. You can approach these activities passively or proactively.
For instance, how do you network?
Passively – Occasionally go to networking events.
Spend time talking with those you already know and discuss non-business matters.
Complain how networking doesn’t really help you advance your career.
Proactively – Frequently attend networking events within your profession/industry or those of your clients, prospects or desired profession. Have fun meeting at least five new people. Follow up and schedule to meet for coffee to learn more about
their work, their challenges, and how you might support one another. Invite them to join your Linkedin network.
What is your approach to professional development?
Passively – Focus solely on developing your technical expertise. View challenges as personal attacks and address them on your own without support. Attend professional development sessions just to maintain your license. Complain how ineffective professional development is in addressing your everyday challenges.
Proactively – Focus on developing your management and leadership skills. Approach challenges as an opportunity to learn, grow and stretch. Hire a coach to help you take your career to the next level. Solicit feedback from your peers, subordinates, managers, and clients. Get a mentor within and/or outside of your organization. Seek out relationships with influential leaders.
How do you approach changes in your profession?
Passively – Complain about the changes in your profession/industry. Rely on others to keep you abreast and on top of shifts and current trends. Resist adapting to the current environment.
Proactively – Identify shifts and changes within your profession/industry. Identify profitable trends, developments or opportunities within your profession/industry that help to address the changes. Build strategic alliances within your profession/industry. Focus on results that add value, reduce costs and raise your profile.
Career management activities can be done either passively or proactively.
Individuals who are proactive tend to stand out, feel more in control, and experience greater career satisfaction.
Want to take a more proactive approach?
Begin by looking at your current mindset.
A passive mindset tends to believe:
My efforts won’t make a difference.
It won’t work for me. It hasn’t worked for me.
I don’t have the time, connections, skills or energy.
It’s too hard. It will take too long.
A proactive mindset tends to believe:
I have nothing to lose.
I have what it takes to change things around.
I’m good enough to go after the career I want.
My consistency and patience will pay off.
How have you been passive in advancing your career?
How can you be more proactive in taking your career to the next level?
Choose one activity to be more proactive.