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Career Conscious People — 5 More Ways To Stay Ahead

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Many people tend to coast through their careers, from the time they leave school or university and get their first job to the time they retire.

Although they go to work day in and day out and do what they’re paid to do, they aren’t really conscious of their career overall, at least not in terms of directing it where they want to go.

Career conscious individuals, however, think about what they want to achieve in their professional life and work out strategies to achieve it, whether that be by themselves, with a career coach or guide or with the support of an online career community.

As a result, these individuals are much more likely to set their own defined career goals and accomplish them, than to find their career journey dictated to them by their employers, recruitment agencies, the global economy and labour market or whatever. Career conscious professionals are also more likely to be able to foresee and deal with setbacks such as redundancy or an enforced career break, eventually turning such situations to their advantage, rather than having their entire lives ruined. Which camp would you rather be in? Here are 5 things in particular that all career conscious professionals do to get ahead.

1. Know who’s in charge of your career.

We’ve been brought up to believe that our employers will take care of us and will take responsibility for our professional development. For most people and for most organizations that’s changing and it’s important for us to be conscious that we have to take control of our career in order to push on and get ahead.

 2. Know what’s going on around you.

This means being aware of what is happening to the organization you’re in. These days, companies are operating in quite competitive environments and can be affected by the issues all over the world over which they have little or no control. Keeping your radar on ensures that you’re able to do the best that you can do, because you are aware of the impact and timing of issues with regard to you and your job. Sometimes we get the timing wrong in our careers and we move to a new role just at the point where there is a change of control within the organization. We end up being caught up in what we hadn’t foreseen, be it a major restructure, redundancy and so on. There is little we can do about things like that, but if we have our radar on, once we’re there we can be watching the company from within and also preparing ourselves for whatever might happen.

3.  Keep learning, growing and developing your skill set

It’s essential to keep learning and developing. It’s up to you to take responsibility for this and to make sure that you are always enhancing and extending your knowledge base and your abilities. Don’t wait for your organization to tell you to do it or to offer you different training options or resources. Take it into your own hands and make sure that you are everyday increasing your value, experiences and know-how.

4. Build strong relationships.

People who are great at what they do, will have built up strong, long-lasting relationships with the people around them and at every stage in their careers. The importance of good relationships with your colleagues and with your boss are key since you never know when you may need them or what you may learn from each other if you keep those bonds strong.

5. Have regular check-in sessions.

In psychological terms, we need to know if we’re OK with our bosses. We want to know what they think of us and our performance and how they rate us. Therefore you need to have these check-ins with your boss on a regular basis. These sessions should be apart from the annual round of appraisals. This is something that for some people might not need to be a daily occurrence, but still needs to happen many times during a one-year period. It underpins psychological health within workplace, which is vital if we are to sustain our careers.

 

About the Author

This article is provided by Simon North. Simon is Founder of Position Ignition, which created the Career Ignition Club – a leading career support and career development resource for career conscious professionals.