Career Success Part 1: Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Sections of this topic

    Do you want to know how to jump-start or advance your professional career? There are three keys. Here’s the first one: Monitor your changing environment so you won’t be caught off guard.

    Visualize your career environment as one huge jigsaw puzzle. It consists of your present job, your company, your industry, your profession, your regional, national and world economy. You may only be aware of certain pieces of the gigantic puzzle. However, those other pieces are also extremely important. They can stop you in your career success tracks or enable you to take advantage of new career opportunities. The following three tactics will help you monitor your changing environment to prevent you from be caught with your pants down.

    1. Act As an Information Magnet
    Don’t be a modern-day Rip Van Winkle. Don’t wake up to a world you no longer understand and feel comfortable in. Are you so tied up in everyday life that you fail to see the shifts in your workplace and in the marketplace?

    As pace of change accelerates, careers will be affected by what’s happening inside and outside your workplace. Don’t find yourself in an information vacuum. Stay in tune with the changing workplace. Realize that information is power and it is absolutely necessary for career survival.

    2. Scan the Changing Landscape
    Imagine your career as steering a ship down an unexplored river. To ensure safe passage, you must be attentive to ever-evolving conditions. These are the powerful trends occurring in society, business, and technology that will be impacting your professional life and career. So get out of your narrow tunnel and start seeing the big picture. What are you seeing, hearing or reading? What’s happening in your company, or the marketplace or the political and legislative arenas?

    Then start thinking strategically. Ask yourself: What are the immediate and the long range influence of these trends? How can this information directly or indirectly affect me, my industry or my profession? How are changes that I see today likely affect my job security tomorrow? What can I start doing today to prepare for the next year, or three years, or five years?

    3. Prospect for Opportunities
    For example, the flattening of organizations is really a two-edged sword. It can reduce the chance for promotion, but it also can create opportunities for you to take on responsibilities that you may not have been able to when positions were more narrowly defined. In times of rapid change, there are always critical things that may fall through the crack. So start looking for some problem areas. Do you have a way to fix it? Part 2 is Get Ahead of the Crowd.

    Carer Success Tip:

    When asked, “How come you are always where the puck is?” Wayne Gretsky, the well known hockey player, answered: “I’m not where the puck is, but where the puck is going to be.”

    Where is the puck going to be for you? Where are the potential growth areas are in your field, in your industry, in your company?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?