5 Areas of Focus and Expectation For Career Success

What are you hoping for in your career path? Big raises? Name recognition? The right title? Those are great hopes! None of those are the clear expectations that you should be concentrating on for career advancement. With the right planning, the things that you hope for will become your reality when you focus on these 5 important areas.

Career growth
Skills and Knowledge Development
Work-life Balance
Workplace Culture Adaptation
Job Security

Career Growth. One of the number one reasons that people leave their place of employment is because they felt as if they were in a dead end position. When you’re on a job interview, when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” this is a great time to convey your own career growth expectations. The question needs to be very specific and formed in a way that doesn’t seem like you’re not interested in the position that you’re interviewing for. You’re interviewing for a specific position that the company needs to have filled. Don’t give the impression you’re not going to be reliable to that position. Instead, know yourself and your own career goals to feel out the interviewer to see the company’s plan for expansion. And once you’re hired, proving your worth and dedication, brainstorm with your boss about what pieces the company could add to your career development.

 

Skills and Knowledge Development. One your way to solidifying your career, seminars, training and networking opportunities will be instrumental in reaching your career goals. Ask your boss what opportunities there are for training and professional associations you could make for the company. Learning new skills and enhancing your knowledge, becoming seen and knows as the expert in your field is the grease on the wheels to career success.

 

Work-Life Balance. There is no quicker way to feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with life than not making your personal life a priority. Work, satisfying work, checking those things off the career goal list? Great! But your life will quickly become unbalanced if you don’t put personal goals in the mix, every single day.

Workplace Culture Adaptation. Two words: Adapt and Adjust. Before you went out on that job interview, you checked out the website of the perspective employer to see if you it matched your own values, attitudes, and goals, right? When you walk into the job, you will be the newbie and there will be people who will give you attention just because you’re new. One lesson you should learn early on is that it is best to watch the people around you and learn the specific culture that you’ll be fitting in to. If you get off on the wrong foot with someone, correct it as soon as possible. More on that later. The point is, the world doesn’t revolve around you. The office culture was already there before you came to the company. They will expect you to fit in, not the other way around.

Job Security.  Job security is something that you can plan for, hope for, but nothing is ever guaranteed.  Anything can happen. but job security is something that you can try to achieve through learning to excel in your field. What you’ll find is that when it comes to job security, one of the greatest traits that will help you is when the company that you’re working for has both trust and confidence in you. When you do the things above, and are diligent about your ability to be someone people can count on in both word and deed, that’s when you are most likely to enjoy job security. There are circumstances where no one can have job security but a person that people can trust will take you a long way.

Learning how to set expectations will also help you keep focused on your career goals. And now that you know what goes into managing your expectations, the next article is about how to begin to think about the future of your career.

Monday Morning Internal Audit – Choose One Thought

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Welcome to your new workweek!  You have power.  This is the one place where you have power over everything that happens and that is inside of you.

Right now, take a moment to check up on your internal dialogue.  What one thought do you want to tease out of all the noise of Monday Morning that will carry you through the week?  A few weeks ago my daughter got married.  On the Monday of that week, all of my thoughts were directed toward Saturday, the day of her wedding.  That week it was easy to find a direction.  What was the one thing that I wanted to accomplish that week?  The wedding!   Anything that happened that week, even if it was work related, had to be done so that my mind could be clear for the wedding.

This week my One Thought that will carry me through the week is Connection.  It will be my theme.  Everything that I do this week, every opportunity that comes my way, every rote duty that I perform will be brought underneath the umbrella of Connection.  When I do this, when I have a unifying theme, it challenges me to be in control of myself, to be more deliberate about my actions and if I find I have distracting thoughts, I can measure them against the word “Connection”.

Hello Monday!

LPT (Life Preparedness Training)

 

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When children are young, it’s good to expose them to as many new experiences as possible so they can see and do new things, but also to watch and learn from you.  How are you handling yourself?  How do you relate with others? What do you do in situations where you’re frustrated, late, overlooked by a busy desk clerk or waiter in a restaurant?

  • A person comes into a new situation where their limits are tested, say, a waitress is obviously busy and not giving you the level of attention you are normally used to or expect.
  • Children who have been exposed to adults who are gracious and forgiving will politely remind the waitress of their needs, while the children who have not been exposed to life preparedness training by a mature adult might become demanding. As a result, at the table with gracious behavior , the waitress is sweet, thanks them for being patient, and offers them a free dessert.  At the table with the rude behavior, the waitress is just nervous, apologizes for their inconvenience and then forgets to offer a free dessert.
  • The children who are unprepared for life think that something magical is happening over there and that they are being punished.  They do not know that graciousness was taught and that it is something that they can attain with learning and practicing good manners.
  • The children who are prepared for life, not knowing that the other children were not prepared ahead of time for a difficult life situation, think that what’s happening at the other table is deserved and that the people at their table are superior and better people.  They will work hard in future situations to continue to learn how to deal with difficult situations better, cementing their position and earning a place of leadership.

I may be oversimplifying, but according to research, this really is kind of how it works.  People who think they’re good at something will continue to learn more about what they’re already good at and increase their proficiency.  People who see others get rewarded for something that they think they also deserve, think that the other person just got lucky.  Without awareness and without training, people will not notice that they can improve.

I am a big proponent of learning your strengths and your limitations.  Knowing what you excel at already tells you where you can really shine as you continue to gain knowledge and grow in a depth in those areas.  And knowing what you’re not good at understanding that you can become better at it, can be achieved.

Not a math person?  You can have more math intelligence simply through learning and practice.  Not a people person?  You can have more people intelligence through learning and practice.  (Warning: just because you become proficient at something that you do not have a natural talent for will not cause you to like it more.  If you are not a “People person”, managing people will not become more pleasant just because you got good at managing people.  It just become less painful!  The same with math.)