Growth: Advancing in your new career!
"You've Found the Right Job in the Right
Career-now what do you do?"
Ideas and strategies for
Maximun Career Growth
You've studied, researched and now you've made the
midlife career change. It's been a long process but moving into a new career
after 50 was not easy. You've learned how to change
careers, you out worked and leveraged your new skills to get the job you wanted over a whole
room full of younger talent.
Now what do you do? It looks like you'll like your new job
and the organization fits all your needs. For maximun career growth consider a new career action plan
setting out your goals and integrating them into
your career development plan.
Develop a New Career Plan
Now is the time to develop a new career plan to begin making yourself indispensable. In truth no one is
truly indispensable, but for career growth by working hard at making yourself indispensable, your career will
prosper either with your current employer, or you'll be a top candidate for a job with another
your strengths, weaknesses and your value to your group. What is your competition? Now develop
a plan with both long and short term strategies to boost your value within the operation. Be sure to write out your
new career plan, keep it flexible and review and update it often.
10 Solid Steps to Continued Career Growth and
Following are 10
immediate and continuing actions you can take to make yourself more promoteable or will make
you irreplaceable in the face of downsizing or reorganizing:
1. Take ownership
of your responsibilities. View your department as a separate company. Consider your actions as
if you were president of your company. Look at the balance sheet on every decision you make. Will the decision be
seen as an asset or liability? Try to always see the bigger picture.
responsibility for your career and personal advancement. Be proactive. What are others in the
same position doing in other organizations? What results are they achieving? What can you learn from then? How can
you initiate those actions within your "company?"
3. Maintain a
positive attitude. Look for ways, even under stress, to find the positive in everything. Find
options to overcome obstacles and don't entertain the thought the situation is impossible. Stay away from the
outsourcing non-critical functions. Become an expert in this area. Lean organizations become
more efficient by outsourcing. Let your management know you can effectively run things with fewer
5. Find tasks to
do better or something that is not being done. In many organizations, especially those in a
downsizing mode, responsibilities slip between the cracks. Propose to your boss that you pick up the slack. If you
need extra training see that you are prepared. Don't be bashful about broadcasting the positive
6. Let others
know what you're doing. As mentioned in #5 above, if you or your team achieves something
important to the organization let others know. Some managers believe if they keep quiet and blend into the
background they'll be overlooked when and if the axe falls. Don't believe it. Be wise in spreading the word. It
isn't bragging if you've done it.
7. Excel in an
area your boss is weak in. Look for opportunities in this area. Your boss is a good speaker
but weak on material, there's an opportunity. Your boss is great on ideas but weak on financial analysis, there's
an opportunity. If your boss is good on people skills but weak on technology, there's an opportunity. You see the
trend, keep you eyes open and this is an area in which you can be truly indispensable.
outside contacts. Look for opportunities to be a company spokesperson at professional and
community events. Get approval in advance and let your boss know what you're doing. Be sure to brief management on
issues or information you learn in your outside contacts.
9. Be a team
player. Always support your boss and your team. Don't get involved in petty jurisdictional
fights that could derail the overall success of a program or the organization. However, remain as independent as
possible in choosing your role on the team or what part of the project you'll be responsible for.
10. Invest in
yourself and your career. Stay current in your field by taking training and development
courses and seminars. Read inspirational and motivational books, listen to CD's in your car on your commute, and
keep up to date on the economy and business in general.
"The only thing worse than not reading a book in
the last ninety days is not reading a book in the last ninety days and thinking it doesn't matter." ---Jim
Summary-Growing on the Job
Now since you're acting like you are running your own
business, you need to keep yourself informed and motivated. Seize any opportunity to sell yourself and show what
you can do.
Be sure to share information and build up your department by
becoming an outstanding contributor. You'll find that in
becoming indispensable you'll be elevating and growing your career-and-isn't developing your career the real goal?