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How to Think About Your Career

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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How to Think About Your Career

How to Think About Your Career

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

medium.com

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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Understand Your Performance Evaluation

Find out if your performance evaluation is according to what you understand. Identify your goals and key performance indicators with your manager, and discuss accordingly.

Solve your Blind Spots

Ask for feedback, learn from it and adjust your performance (or behavior) according to the areas of improvement that you get to know from others.

Example: After giving a presentation, talk about what went well and ask if there is something that you could have done better.

Keep a Journal

Keeping a journal with a record of your learnings and feedback (areas of improvement) can keep us on the right path, and speed up our progress, and learning too.

Listing out 5 or 10 areas of improvement and tracking the progress in weekly or monthly reviews is a great way to develop your career.

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