Managing Your Career
Just because you haven’t made it to the executive suite (yet) doesn’t mean
you can’t be a leader. In fact, if you’re
in the early stages of your career, you
have a unique opportunity, since you
cannot become a strong leader unless
you first learn how to be a good
follower. You can cultivate leader-
ship skills from the very start of your
career: Doing so increases your value
as a team member, and, as your career
progresses, it will strengthen your
job security as it helps you climb the
ladder of success.
Leadership savvy is a skill you must
learn; it’s not a trait you are born with.
Here are a few tips to support your success and stability.
Look in the Mirror
Once you get your first job and start
earning your own way, whatever
becomes of your career is up to you
and you alone. The people who care
about your personal well-being most
likely have no influence in your professional world. It is never too soon to take
responsibility for planning and guiding
your future path.
Begin with objectively analyzing
all the skills you need to execute your
responsibilities and bringing them all
up to excellence. This includes not
only those abilities that come naturally
but also, more importantly, the ones
you struggle with. Achieving success
depends on seeing your weaknesses for
what they are, understanding how they
can hinder your growth and then turning them into strengths.
Learn How Your
Organization Makes Money
Every company exists to make a profit,
and each role within an organization
supports that goal in some way.
Think of your department as a cog in
your employer’s money-making machinery and understand the function your
team performs in contributing to this
profit imperative. Then consider how
the part you play contributes to that
goal (you’re a cog within a cog!) and recognize that your presence and performance, however small they might seem,
are critical to the success of the whole.
Take this to heart: It’s the mindset that
successful people have.
Next, learn how all the different job
titles within your group contribute to
the common goals and responsibilities
of the department. Given that the people in each function represent another
gear in the machine, you’ll recognize
that, for the department to function
Lay the foundation early for a long and rewarding
By Martin Yate