You catch wind of a rumor at work, there is going to be a shuffle within the management group. A position will be opening up that is sure to have your name written all over it. You get more excited with every juicy tidbit of chatter about this golden opportunity thats going to lift your career to new heights.
The hiring manager is sure to have you in mind as a shoe in for this, right?
Then reality starts to set in and the rumor mill starts spitting out names of the other candidates being considered.
Mary has a course in leadership Skills, Dave has had relevant experience at a previous company.
Suddenly your no longer the frontrunner, and quite frankly not in the race at all.
Confidence is key…
I feel a shiver just writing this as I’ve had this very scenario play out numerous times over the course of my career. That is until I decided to take action and position myself more effectively.
By taking steps to improve your positioning, you not only shine a light on yourself as a viable candidate, but also become more self confident that you are the right person for the job.
Confidence is key to taking control of your career. If you don’t believe in your ability to take on a more challenging role, and to work through unfamiliar situations, then how can you expect to convince the person doing the hiring?
Acknowledge your weakness…
In order to position yourself for that career breaking opportunity, you have to know exactly what your weaknesses are. It is impossible to move forward without taking a step back and honestly evaluating yourself and how others perceive you.
Maybe you are too introverted and need to step out of your comfort zone a little. Maybe you have some gaps in your education or training that require updating. Maybe your just too efficient in your current role and seen as to valuable to move.
Whatever the reason, it is vital that you acknowledge your hold backs and address them head on.
Determine your Goals…
Ask yourself the question, what are my career goals? What do I want to be when I grow up? Don’t focus solely on the next move, but where do you see your career in the next 5 years? What would be the best position to help set yourself up for that ultimate goal?
Keep in mind that reaching your goals may make it necessary to move on from your current place of employment. If the opportunity is not looking like its going to become available any time soon, you may have to look elsewhere. So be prepared to make big changes.
Bridging the Gap…
Once you have figured out where your weaknesses lie, and you have determined your goals, you can begin to bridge the gaps and create a solid foundation for your career growth.
When I made the decision to transition into quality management I performed endless research on what courses and training would be best suited to position myself for that path. I attended night classes at the local University to strengthen my business and management skills. I also enrolled in quality auditing courses, and other quality management related course work.
I proactively took steps to position myself for a career in that field. By the time I started the bridging process I knew exactly which steps I had to take and everything fell into place.
Evaluate your weaknesses, determine your short and long term goals. Put in the effort by doing the necessary research so you can be confident that you are making sound and educated development choices.
Position yourself to be a front runner instead of hoping others will notice you the next time the company rumour mill starts up.
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