I recently spoke to a group of business analysts at ComEd about the value of mentoring. Since I had a few extra minutes, I preceded my talk by quickly laying out 6 ways to advance your career.
1- Personal Branding
Establishing your value in the eyes of your team members and management is the first step toward being considered for new opportunities within the company. If you are not sure what attributes your co-workers think of when they think of you, ask them informally or in a formal 360 degree review if your company, like ComEd, offers it to employees. And be sure to put together a plan to act on the results.
You may be doing yeoman’s work, but if no one is really paying attention, you will have little opportunity to advance. Keep track of your accomplishments and bring them to the attention of management at every opportunity, including at your annual review. Want to get even more visibility? Identify a strategic challenge within the company and offer to head up the effort to find a solution.
Being self-aware is very important if you want to communicate as effectively as possible with your team members, management and customers. Not sure how your Emotional Intelligence rates? Want an in-depth view of your personality and communication style? Contact me for a low cost DiSC personality assessment.
No matter what your age, always be looking ahead to your future career options. If you work at ComEd, take advantage of the myCareer platform that matches your skills with career opportunities (among many other benefits). If your company does not offer such a program, take the initiative to continually look for attractive opportunities inside the company, and put together a plan to close any skills, education or knowledge gaps.
5- Sharpened Tools
Even if you never plan to look for a job beyond your current company, having a compelling and up-to-date resume and LinkedIn profile will serve you well when applying for internal opportunities. Feel free to contact me for a free resume and LinkedIn profile review.
This is where mentoring comes into play. You will want to keep developing positive professional relationships with everyone inside the company, but a respected and influential mentor is often best positioned to guide you to success and provide you with an often critically important recommendation for advancement.
Steven Steinfeld is a nationally recognized career, job search and leadership coach, author and speaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at steinfeldcoaching.com.