For job seekers, today’s new normal economy calls for a strategic, multifaceted approach. Whether you are a janitor, administrative assistant, general laborer, accountant, or sales representative, taking your career to the next level begins with you. Employers are no longer looking for bodies to fill a seat and perform a function. They want an innovative, forward-thinking person they can call their partner. By being proactive and taking the initiative to speak up for your professional future, you are giving potential employers exactly what they are looking for: accountability.
Most job seekers I interview have the same goal in mind: to secure a position in a company culture that brings them joy, presents new challenges, and offers opportunities for career mobility and salary enhancement. But there’s one factor missing: they have no idea how to achieve career happiness. Left feeling stuck in their crappy job situation, working professionals often turn to their inner circle of influence (family, friends, mentors, and colleagues). They consider everyone around them for career support and neglect the one person who holds all the cards: themselves.
When something is broken or sick, we consult the experts to fix our problem. When your car has a flat tire, you take it to a mechanic; when your daughter has the flu, you take her to see a doctor; and when you are planning a family trip, you consult a travel agent. But when your career isn’t moving in the right direction, taking the initiative to partner up with an expert is the farthest thing from your mind. When turning to immediate family and friends for guidance fails (and it often does), you feel as though you are out of options.
Remember: YOU are your best advocate. And you can become an even better advocate for yourself if you pair with an expert – whether a personal or professional mentor, a seasoned veteran in your preferred field, or a career coach. You should even consider focus groups or organizations that align with the industries and disciplines relevant to you.
When you take this approach, to quote Steven Covey, “Begin with the end in mind.” It truly can apply to your career goals. Once you’ve identified your expert path to change, look at the success of now and work backwards. We might also recommend learning more about yourself through our Career Assessment. It measures your natural behaviors and motivators and aligns them with specific occupations, and shares what work environment is best for you. It’s a very telling exercise.
It all comes back our ultimate Career Reform philosophy: Your career is your business.