You’re thinking, well, if I work hard, keep my head down and just produce I will advance in my career and have plenty of internal and external opportunities….maybe.
There are a few other things you can do that will help, and no, not talking about the value of back stabbing office politics to get ahead, in fact just the opposite.
I’ve blogged a few times here on the importance of R.A.D.A.R. – Relationships established Ahead of Demand that Accelerate talent Results (true for talent and the companies hiring). The fall season offers ample opportunity to get your RADAR up and go to work. There is football talk, holiday events, business planning meetings on and off site – opportunities to get to know people and to deepen their understanding of you. And the value of these opportunities has little to do with discussing how or when you want to advance your career, at least not directly, These are simply opportunities to deepen relationships, so that you are remembered when discussions about talent needs arise, directly or indirectly. And they will – they always do. It has happened with you, and will again. The question from a peer or recruiter that starts with, ‘Do you know anyone who can…..’. And you want to help, and you do. Establish relationships so others remember you when asked the same question.
There are so many opportunities through your business, church or community to volunteer to help those in need. It is a chance to meet people who have the same values and desire to help and they do work in positions or situations that can be of value. I volunteer with a group, and weeks, maybe months after meeting and working, I discovered that one of the other volunteers is a Senior VP of HR for a great company. Our discussions have advanced to business, but are grounded in our mutual desire to help others. We have helped each other in our career needs – a very rewarding relationship.
Review the website of the company you work for or have an upcoming interview with and focus on the company’s goals. Align your work area with the goal you can most affect, either by exceeding personal work goals or by an idea that your work group or area can adopt to exceed stated goals. This is all about ideas and the willingness to put ‘well thought out ideas forward’.
We can name the cultures of successful companies that state or require a flow of ideas from their talent. Most executive management folks welcome new thoughts, and putting good ideas forward can help advance your career. Remember, align appropriately and take the time to think your idea through. This focus and planning process will lead to a deeper understanding of your company and industry segment…plus, it can be a lot of fun.
Lastly, and this is a personal note, career advancement can be a focused process for many where doing whatever it takes to move up the next rung or get the next perfect opportunity works extremely well and I approve as long as nothing unethical is used to accomplish said goal and a level of life balance is retained. Maybe the last technique was used first and as a result, the first three suggestions were learned later in the blogger’s career – I’m just sayin’…..