What are the five things I can do to enhance my career?
Whether you want to be an airline pilot or a real estate agent, or maybe you’re washing dishes whilst having aspirations to become a top chef – if you want to achieve your ambitions, and make your parents proud, you cannot leave it to chance. You have to plan – even if informally and only to yourself. How are you going to get there? How will you arrive at your chosen destination?
Here are five motivating thoughts to get you on your way…
- The first thing to realise is – you need a strategy! Simply accepting this fact and thinking about what that strategy should be – is the first stage to success. Sure, some people just fall into jobs and it takes off from there, some people get positive breaks they didn’t expect and weren’t really looking for – but for most of us – we have to plan how to get to where we want to go. You can’t get on a train from Lagos for Ibadan and expect to end up at Abuja.
Merely thinking how to make the journey, strategically and logically, is a first step many do not even get past.
- Your strategy should consider what qualifications you need to appeal to your potential recruiters. What (if any) professional benchmarks must you reach? Do you need to broaden your relevant experience? Are there people you need to mix with and make acquaintances of – and learn from? How do you present yourself to them and what do you offer that makes getting to know you, and helping you, worthwhile?
Considering such questions is how you strategize. The actions you take to answer them, are the tactics you employ.
- Having worked on your credentials you need to consider how to network, how to learn the vocabulary of your chosen specialisation and how to promote yourself without seeming to be trying. The first thing to understand is that delivering results gets you noticed and helps you progress onwards and upwards. This ability to deliver is crucial. If you don’t, or can’t deliver, the person setting you a task either has to do the job themselves, or allocate the task elsewhere – which isn’t a good use of their time or resources. Hard work and application to help you deliver – is noticed and gives you an authority among your peers.
- Know your shortcomings in the role. Maybe you don’t have the necessary small talk, don’t have attention to detail, have punctuality issues, or have a quick temper with colleagues who make errors. All these can work against you and need to be ironed out. Finding some coaching to make you an all-rounder will help you handle challenging situations. If you can help turn your challenges into positives and solutions – you can drive others to be positive – which starts to make you invaluable.
- Finally – but not exclusively – there is always room for improvement. Work to gain respect. Be decent and helpful. Share considered yet forthright thoughts with colleagues to help them. Aim to be the person that you would want available to ask for advice, and know it would be helpful and given in confidence. If you are managing to achieve these objectives your career has a great chance of fulfilling your dreams.