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How to Think About Your Career

https://medium.com/the-year-of-the-looking-glass/how-to-think-about-your-career-abf5300eba08

medium.com

How to Think About Your Career
If you had asked 22-year-old me what my "career aspirations" were, I would have looked at you blankly and then casually changed the subject to what programs you'd recommend to model cute 3D bunnies for a video game, or whether the writers of would be so devious as to ship Sydney Bristow and Sark.

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Defining your career

Your career is defined by your skills and how you’ve used them, not by any external measure of your progress.

If you focus exclusively on improving your skills and your impact on your organization (or to the world at large), the promotions and raises tend to come as a byproduct.

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Treat your manager as a coach

A good manager’s job is to help you and the rest of your team get better results. So it would be logical that she should be invested in your career. When you do better, then by extension, she does better. 

Hence, your manager should be on your side, who wants you to succeed, and who is willing to spend a good deal of time and energy to help you do that.

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See yourself succeeding

There is research that shows if you can create a clear visualization of yourself achieving the outcome you want, you prime yourself to act in a way that is consistent with what you imagine.

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You own your career

... and you have more of an ability to shape it than anybody else.

No matter how many people are on the sidelines helping you, ignoring you, or working against you, your career and your life are our responsibility. 

Don’t blame your manager, your significant other, your friends, or your company if you don’t have the career that you want.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Changing careers

You and you alone are responsible for creating your own future. 

Time to give serious thought to this life-shaping question: What exactly are you going to do with the rest of your li...

Start with honest self-assessment

  • Analyze your current skill set, training level, and accomplishments to date. 
  • Write down the aspects of the work you liked and what tasks or things you disliked
  • Explore different career options. Investigate new fields, industries and potential careers. 
  • Interview individuals who work at those types of jobs, or in fields of interest to you. 
  • Look at growth opportunities, salaries, benefits, education level and then determine the job title to target.

Change from careers

  • Use your transferable skills. You have acquired abilities from previous positions.
  • Use your strengths. Incorporate your talents into any position you choose to go after.
  • Get new skills. Study the industry you want to enter. Take some courses so you can more quickly enter the field.
  • Many people prevent their own success. They find excuses, or blame others, for their own failures or mistakes instead of learning and improving from them.

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Why Interviewers Ask It

This introductory question serves as an icebreaker to lend an easy flow to the conversation. It helps the recruiter to get to know you in terms of hard and soft skills.

It’s a great op...

How to build your response

  • Present: Talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and possibly a recent achievement.
  • Past: Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention a past experience that’s relevant to the job and company you’re applying for.
  • Future: Continue with what you’re looking to do next and why you’re interested in this job.
You do not have to respond in this order. Tweak it to suit you. Make sure to tie it to the job and company.

Tailor Your Answer

Interviewers want to know how your answer about yourself is relevant to the position and company you’re applying for.

This is an opportunity to articulate why you’re interested and how your objective fulfills their goals. In order to do that, spend some time researching the company. If your answers resonate with them, it shows that you really understand the role.

Take on more responsibility

Command the tasks and responsibilities in your current role, then start solving the problems that your soon-to-be self would be working on.
The only way to eff...

Proactively communicate wins

Consistently exceed expectations in terms of your current role and job responsibilities. Take on more than expected, and manage these projects as well as your more senior colleagues.

Share your accomplishments early and often.

Demonstrate your accomplishments

  • Demonstrate that you have taken on additional responsibilities and provide specific details about your accomplishments. 
  • Share examples of projects you have completed and how they’ve positively impacted the business. Was there an increase in revenue? Did you save a customer? 
  • If you’ve received positive feedback from colleagues or other leaders regarding your work, be prepared to share that with your manager as well. 
  • Identify ways you’ve earned money for the company, for example through sales, upsells or creating efficiencies.