Spring Your Career into Action

career advancementThe hand-off from Spring to Summer is a great time to reassess where you are in your career and what you can do to transition into your next opportunity. You may be at your job for some time and wondering when you will make the next career transition. In today’s environment managers are looking for people who take action rather than waiting for the tap on the shoulder. Here are some tips to clean up your career strategy and spring into action.

Assess Your Skills and Competencies

If you are looking for opportunities inside your firm prepare for your next move. Look at the job description requirements to determine what are the skills, experience, and competencies that are required. Assess your gaps and fill them where needed. Organize your resume so that your current experience reflects how you would be the ideal fit for the new job. Make sure that you discuss transferable achievements in your resume such as “Developed a new sales program to over 1,000 customers that netted $5,000 in increased revenues.”

Build Your Internal Brand

Do you have a brand? Personal brands are increasingly important, especially in the workplace. Start by deciding what you want your brand to be and who the people are who have brands that you admire. Second, ask people for feedback on their perception of your brand. Are you viewed as a leader, a thinker, a team player, a star salesperson? Your actions will speak your brand. Are you dressing and speaking the part? Every interaction with someone at work affects the perception of how people view your brand and thus your capabilities.

Raise Your Hand

Raise your hand for high visibility projects and assignments. This can be a key way to expand your visibility to groups and leaders who may not know you. Follow through on the project/initiative so that people can see you in action and how you work in real time. Measure your results and share them with influential people. For example, “I joined this task force and because of my key contributions in subject matter and project management skills we achieved a product launch thirty days sooner than expected.”

Take a Risk

Many times we are settled in our positions and don’t want to take a risk. However, many leaders note that risk-taking is a key differentiator to get ahead. For example, step out of the traditional functional area and explore joining a strategic task force that is working a new project that has high visibility but also may be a risky venture. If the project is a success you will be noticed as someone who is not afraid to try new things and see them through.

Look for Power Positions

Seek out influential roles in your firm. Many times it is a role that has direct influence on the bottom line. Are there powerful positions in sales, engineering, product marketing? Set your sight on positioning for one of these high visibility roles or line jobs.

Now is the time to rethink and assess your career, where you are now and how you can use your skills as a springboard for your next internal move.

Tracey Wilen

Tracey Wilen

Dr. Tracey Wilen is a prominent thought leader on the impact of technology on society, work and careers. She’s been a scholar at Stanford University and has held leadership positions at Apple, HP, Cisco, and the Apollo Group. Dr. Wilen has authored 11 books including Women Lead: Career Perspectives from Workplace Leaders (2013); Society 3.0: How Technology Is Reshaping Education, Work, and Society (2012); Employed for Life; 21st Century Career Trends (2014).She has appeared on CNN, Fox and CBS news, in The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. She frequently contributes to The Huffington Post, the Examiner, and the Christian Science Monitor and is on radio shows across the US weekly as an expert guest. She is a global speaker on the impact of technology on work careers, and women’s leadership. She was honored by the San Francisco Business Times as a 2012 Most Influential Woman in Bay Area Business. www.traceywilen.com

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