Wednesday, January 27, 2016

4 Proactive Steps to Take Now for Your Career

I think most of us know that our career belongs to us and that to develop and progress we need to take active steps. However, sometimes we put our career on auto-pilot and let things go. Or we seem to expect that "magically" we'll get that promotion or the right opportunity will just fall in our laps.

Moving forward in your career happens just like that: by moving. It requires effort and it is requires one to be proactive and to take full responsibility.

Here are 4 steps you can take to be more proactive in your career (and life):

1. Find a mentor. We mention this often here and there is a reason: Success requires other people. To move forward in your career find someone who is successful in ways you desire to be a success. Meet at least monthly with that person and be honest about yourself, your struggles, and your hopes and goals.

2. Identify one area to develop. What is holding you back in your career? Do you need to learn to speak better in groups? Are you ineffective at closing the sale? Whatever the area is you identify for improvement make a plan to address it. This might mean signing up for a class at your local community college or attending a conference.

3. Be curious. Learn as much as you can and be open to new experiences and new people. Those who advance their careers and have new opportunities offered to them are the ones who've taken the time to explore new skills, have taken risks, and have met new people at conferences and networking events. This applies particularly to your current position. Get to know other people in your company and develop an understanding of what they do and how you can help them be more successful.

4. Be positive. No one wants to work with someone with a negative attitude or with someone always complaining about the job or the company. Work on your attitude and make an effort to proactively focus on the things you control and can make better. And be sure to smile and be a source of encouragement to those around you.

Your career development is in your hands.  

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