I’m often asked, “How can I get a promotion/ noticed/ a better job/ more money/ a corner office…” All great questions, especially the one about the corner office. I believe the answer to the earlier questions will in fact lead you to that swanky corner office with a view of the (insert prominent local landmark here e.g. Eiffel Tower/Empire State Building). So, how do you be successful in your career?  How do you take your career into your own hands…? The answer to these questions lies in the pronoun used. You. Your destiny and future success lies with a highly capable individual, you.

behind the wheel

Having a successful career is up to you. Simply get in the drivers seat. You can own your career by following a few easy steps.

1. Ensure you’re in the right career

Firstly you’re unlikely to be successful in your chosen career if you’re in a position that’s not aligned to your talents and interests. Take time to work out what you’re good at and what excites you - follow your passion and you’ll succeed!

2. Plan your career

Set SMART goals. In the words of Benjamin Franklin – “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goals will pave your way to success.

3. Get a mentor

You need to take ownership of your career but that doesn’t mean you need to do it alone. Find someone senior and inspirational that you can model your career on and turn to for advice and wisdom. This can happen through a formalized program or you can “take this into your own hands” and directly approach someone you admire and would like to learn from. A mentor can impart incredible wisdom and help you fast track your career.

4. Believe in yourself

Be your own cheerleader, do affirmations or creative visualization, whatever works for you. The most important thing is that you believe in yourself. Surrounding yourself with positive people that believe in and energise you can go a long way to assisting here. You also need to be ballsy - if you’re not getting what’s promised to you and you’re putting in the hard yards and meeting your KPIs then you need to do something about it. Have the hard conversations. Honor yourself and your development and you’ll be sure to get ahead.

5. Own your personal brand

How do you dress, walk, talk, behave, look online, promote yourself? Do you look and act like someone that is capable of running the department? Do people even know who you are and about your capability? Chances are if you don’t come across as capable or are hiding away behind a screen you’re not going to be picked for the top job. It’s your responsibility to ensure you have a profile. Shoulders back, dress the part and put your hand up for that next project to showcase your talents. Just like candidates are now looking for employers with a strong employment brand, employers notice candidates that have made a name for themselves (in a good way of course). This also means this is time to make your Facebook profile private, if there are any incriminating pictures!

6. Network

I dislike this word, it makes me think of women in power suits, men with aggressive handshakes and schmoozing with chardonnay and business cards. However the concept I do like. It’s important to build your networks, stay in touch with old colleagues, reach out to influencers in your industry and make LinkedIn your best friend. The important thing to note here though is, networking is not about taking, it’s just as much about giving. In building your networks you need to offer advice and help people out. Don’t reach out to others hoping to pillage their networks. Look to assist others where you can. You’ll be surprised how one day that person you greeted warmly and helped out with a small favor is a hiring manager and you’re a shoe-in for your dream job.

7. Be successful in your career by owning it

The secret sauce to career success is owning your career.  When you take ownership, look for opportunities, work hard and take responsibility for your development, your efforts will absolutely pay dividends.

Follow these tips and that next promotion has your name written all over it!


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