Once you’ve decided to take control of your career, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. In this post, we’re going to give you three career navigation tips that are feasible for everyone and that have the potential to greatly enhance your career goals.
Take on new challenges. People often think that only confident people take risks, but it’s the other way around. It’s the people who seek new challenges and take risks, even when they’re scared, that become confident. Confidence is like a muscle that you have to continuously work to build up. If there are projects or areas at work that interest you, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and ask for opportunities that help you build new skills and show your willingness to learn new things. As you intentionally take on more challenges, it becomes easier. You can even start with small things such as speaking up at a meeting or talking to someone you normally wouldn’t approach. Ultimately, small successes give you the courage to take on bigger challenges.
Find a mentor. This doesn’t necessarily mean asking a high-ranking executive to serve as your mentor in a formal capacity (though it doesn’t hurt to have one of those in your corner). Think of the people all around you who can offer insight into difference aspects of your professional life. You’re surrounded by more people than you know both personally and professionally that can offer wisdom, and you don’t have to rely on just one person to help navigate professional ups and downs. You can go to different people with a specific question that they are well positioned to address and ask for guidance. Some of the most successful people I know say they have multiple mentors or a personal “board of directors” that they go to for advice in different areas. Also, look for professional organizations or groups that offer career resources or support. Often, you meet people or get access to information that leads you on a new path you may not have otherwise explored.
Self-promote. Don’t be afraid to let people in your organization know about the good work you’re doing. If you aren’t promoting your work, you may be missing an opportunity to demonstrate your contribution and engagement in the organization. This doesn’t have to come across as self-aggrandizing. Rather, you can provide updates to your boss or other key-stakeholders about the status of your projects in a way that informs rather than boasts. Don’t assume your boss or colleagues know what you’re doing or the impact you’re making. Most people are concerned with themselves and aren’t always aware of your efforts. When you take the time to inform people of your work, it shows that you value what you do and the significance of your work to the organization.