3 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Career Success

Are you where you want to be in your career? Is it giving you the satisfaction and enjoyment you want? Have you achieved the level of career success you feel is right for you?

If not, what is going on and what can you do about it?

It’s good to reflect on what’s working in your career, and what’s getting in the way. You don’t have to wait for happiness to appear once you’re successful, you can expect it in all your jobs. And to be honest it’s really a prerequisite for meaningful career success anyway.

The research suggests that to be successful you need to be happy with what you are doing. So the first thing to check is your happiness level. Is your job making you happy and, if not, what is missing or not working?

Next …

Do A Career Success Audit

Answer honestly to truly understand what’s going on:

  • Am I visible enough? Do the senior team know who I am? Am I talking about my achievements regularly, or do I let others take the credit. Do I seek or avoid opportunities to be ‘seen’?
  • Am I proactive? Do I seek out chances to learn new skills? Have I pushed my manager for opportunities to do something new?
  • Do I have a strong personal brand? What would others in the organisation say about me? How do I make others feel when they work with me?
  • Am I someone who delivers? Do I get things done and meet my objectives? Do I procrastinate?
  • What is my leadership style? How does this fit with the culture of the organisation?
  • Am I a strategy, big picture kind of person or do I prefer operational, hands on type of work?
  • How motivated am I towards the next logical step in my career? Do I want to do it, or do I feel I should do it?

Now you should have a clearer picture of what’s going on. And where you could increase your enjoyment at work, position yourself for a promotion or be clearer about how to perform better at interview.

3 Things To Boost Your Career Success

Work out your communication style

Everyone has different ways of communicating. We all have preferences about how we like to give and receive information. Reflect on your preferences – what annoys you about how someone presents information to you? Do you like short, focused, bite-size info, or prefer lots of detail? Would you like planned times for discussions, or prefer spontaneous, creative get togethers? Do you like to include feelings and emotions or prefer facts and evidence? Are you able to communicate most effectively in writing or verbally?

Once you understand your own style then you can start to notice other people’s. For example, if your boss starts to glaze over and becomes impatient when you talk about feelings driving a decision then maybe s/he prefers fact based information to support your feelings/intuition.

Tailoring your style to adapt to others around you can make you more effective at achieving your objective. And can make sure your voice is heard. You can still retain your own style and preferences. But becoming skilled at matching other people’s communication needs will be so useful in your career.

Develop A Problem Solving Attitude

Consider your attitude to problems. Do you see them as a challenge or do you get deflated by them? Being solution focused and resilient is definitely a skill that will serve you well in all your jobs. If you already tick this box, then see if you can cultivate it in other team members. If you think this is an area you could develop further then some mindset work is required….

Develop Your Own PR Plan

It’s not just celebrities that need a PR plan, we can all benefit from being strategic about our profile at work. Think about what you want to achieve – being seen as an expert, getting promotion, being more visible, or being more comfortable with the spotlight.

Then identify what could be in your own plan. Ideas could include:

  • look for speaking opportunities – internally and externally (conferences, networking events, pitches, etc.)
  • volunteer to make a presentation to Senior Management on your area of work or progress of a project
  • author reports that will be read within the business
  • contribute to the Company website – write a blog or share some news or be the ‘face’ of your team/department
  • attend networking events and start connecting with people who could be useful in your career
  • get used to talking about your achievements and start dropping them into conversations with other people
  • make more effort to go and talk to colleagues/peers rather than always emailing

Being proactive in getting more satisfaction in your career, will not only boost your success and happiness, it will also give you a sense of autonomy and ownership over your career. This should be the best year for your career.

If you need help with the Career Success Audit or working out what to do next, do get in touch for a FREE no obligation clarity call with me.

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How To Make 2019 The Best Year Ever For Your Career

2019 is going to be a year of change. We can’t deny that Brexit will have an impact politically, economically and socially. What is unclear is the positive or negative affect of that change. You may feel excited or anxious about how this change may impact you personally. While you can’t exert any control over the outcome of Brexit (unless you’re Theresa May or Donald Tusk), you can control what happens to your career this year. You can decide to make this the best year ever for your career!

Taking control and becoming a career activist will be the best decision you can make for your career. Maybe you’re plateauing in your career at the moment, or you’re keen to move to a more senior role but feeling a bit unsure about how to, or you just want to stop holding yourself back from fulfilling your potential. Follow these tips to achieve the best year ever for your career in 2019:

Get Clear

The cornerstone of career success is being clear about what you want and who you want to be.

Maybe your career has a defined pathway, so for example, you know you want to move Head of Communications to Communications Director. This makes it easy to check in with yourself that this is the right direction of travel for you.If the answer is yes then you can focus on that route. But if the answer is no, it’s important to understand why not. Maybe you’re more of an ops person than a strategist, so you then might be looking for a new role that expands your remit to give you more challenge rather than moving upwards. For example, adding employee engagement to your communications role.

If your career path isn’t so obvious, then you need to spend time identifying what your next role looks like. What elements does it need:

  • stretch
  • freedom
  • intellectual demand
  • people
  • status
  • topic/subject matter

A career vision board can be really useful for this as it can tap into your subconscious, plus it’s great fun to do! Read my blog on How to Create a Career Vision Board  for ideas.

If you’re still struggling identifying your direction then some external help, such as a career coach, can be a good investment.

Get Focused

Now you’re clear about what you’re aiming for, you need to draw up your battle plan! Having a strategy to get to where you want to be is essential for career success. Set yourself some goals to achieve your next steps. These can include:

  • Increase your expertise – are there gaps in your knowledge, skills or experience? Look at the roles you are interested in and do a gap analysis. Once you know what’s missing you can plan how to address them. This could be a mixture of spotting opportunities at work to do something new, e.g. lead a project, mentor a more junior staff member or present to the senior team. And self learning – increasing your knowledge through reading, online training, videos, etc.
  • Get some feedback – your current boss could be really helpful in getting your positioning right. Ask for feedback on what they think you need to be ready for the next role. Then ask for opportunities to build on this.
  • Increase your visibility – do a mini audit on your current profile like within your company or profession? Ask yourself whether you relish self-promotion or shy away from it because you don’t want to seem arrogant or pushy? Becoming more visible is an important part of making this year great. People need to know about your skills and abilities. Stuck for ideas – consider these:
    • writing and publishing articles on LinkedIn or in groups
    • taking part in your professional body’s network
    • making contact with the ‘right’ people in your company/industry
    • attending networking events to build your network (hate networking read this)
    • looking for opportunities to speak or present
    • talking about yourself and your achievements
    • having an opinion/voicing your ideas at work
  • Make a plan – take all your ideas and turn them into a plan for the year so you know how you going to make this the best year ever for your career.

Get Productive

Having a plan is one thing, actually delivering it is another! To be successful this year, you need to use your time well to avoid overwhelm. There are some great techniques out there, e.g. the Pomodoro technique, apps to monitor your screen time. Work out what works for you and make some changes to our routine to get the most out of your day.

Book a regular review with yourself to check in on progress. And find someone to keep you accountable, as this is a key part of staying productive.

Get the Right Attitude

When you’re stretching yourself and heading out of your comfort zone, the old confidence gremlins can kick in. You might find your saying more ‘I can’t’ rather’ than ‘I can’ Attitude and mindset are everything, and the good news is that you are, very much, in control of them. Working on your self belief is hard work but very necessary. If you need some help with this then you may be interested in my Career Confidence course which is packed with tools and techniques.

If you know you’re holding yourself back or have a self limiting belief that is getting in your way, you may find some specific coaching support can make all the difference to putting yourself n the right headspace for change.

Get Resilient

Resilience is that ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties. Just in case your move to your next role is not plain sailing, make sure you reflect and learn from knock backs and difficult situations.

Go For It!

Take charge and make 2019 the best year ever for your career.

I will be launching my Career Success Group Coaching Programme this summer. Places will be limited so if you’re interested in finding out more sign up for the waitlist here.

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Love tennis? Can Wimbledon help your career success?

Wimbledon is here again, a place where hopes are built and also dashed. Will Murray be Wimbledon champion for the third time or will Federer win again? How many times do we experience the same situation – so close to that job offer or promotion but just pipped at the post by someone with a bit more experience or a bit more career confidence?

What can get in the way of career success?

Andy has often been criticised for letting vital energy slip away by not centring himself, showing his disappointment by hitting his forehead and hanging his head when things don’t go his way. Allowing that emotional energy to seep away impacts on confidence and self-belief.

We are all guilty of berating ourselves mentally when things don’t go according to plan at work or in our job search – speaking to ourselves in a way we wouldn’t allow other people to and letting our inner critic have free rein.

So how can you keep yourself centred when focusing on achieving your dream? How do you maintain your self belief and achieve career success?

5 Steps to grow your career confidence and boost career success:

  • Step 1: Value yourself, your skills, your abilities, your passions. Collect evidence of things you have done well and notice what you did that enabled it to be successful.
  • Step 2: Choose your thoughts carefully –  “ You are what you think about all day long” (Wayne Dwyer). Confident people have negative thoughts too but choose not to listen to them or give those thoughts power. This will take time to perfect but is worth investing in. Learning how to manage your thoughts and focus your energy on the positive ones. For more detail on managing your thoughts read my e-book on ‘Developing your Inner Coach’ (available at Bookboon.com).
  • Step 3: Study career confident people  – research how they have achieved what they have – observe how they behave, way they talk, notice their characteristics – what can you learn from them?
  • Step 4: Choose your influences – Be aware of who influences you both positively and negatively – family, friends, news, TV, politicians, religious leaders, etc. Begin to cut down and filter out negative and pessimistic views about work and career choices. Try and make sure you read/listen to something uplifting each day for at least 30 mins. Being positive can have an impact on your future career success.
  • Step 5: Beware comparisons – no one else has the perfect job/life – choose a great role model instead – people whose qualities and characteristics inspire you to learn and grow and achieve similar career success.

Career confidence is like playing tennis – it needs to be practiced regularly  in order to be successful, and sometimes it too can benefit from having a coach. To have an initial discussion to discover how coaching can boost your career success or to book a session click here.

Image courtesy of Deposit Photos.

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How to stop sabotaging your career

What’s holding you back in your career? Is there something you really want to do that will stretch you or you want to make a change, apply for a new job or go for a promotion but you find you keep sabotaging yourself by talking yourself out of it?

Well, you’re not alone. Many people stay in jobs they hate or stay stuck and unfulfilled because they feel scared and keep imagining all the things that could possibly go wrong.

Fear is paralysing and exhausting. Talking yourself out of doing things you know you really want to do perpetuates a negative mind set and can damage your self-image. You can begin to see yourself as smaller somehow, or as someone who doesn’t take risks or challenges.

What are you scared of?

Research I conducted in 2014 with potential career changers showed that fear of change, of failure, of making the wrong decision and of what others thought were major obstacles in moving forward. Fear and the resulting procrastination is the enemy of opportunity and can lead to you perpetually sabotaging your career.

Why are you scared?

  • Firstly, your belief about yourself, based on messages you have heard in your lives that you have taken to heart and then nourished and fed. When you were younger what messages did you receive from your parents, from school and from society about what was possible? Did they expand or contract your dreams? Did they leave you thinking ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Am I worth it?’

If you doubt yourself then making a change of any kind in your career can be very challenging.

  • Then, there are your circumstances – if you are the main bread winner, live alone or have a family that will be impacted by any changes you make, then fear of getting it wrong and affecting your financial security or your family’s situation can hold you back.
  • And thirdly, other people can have a huge impact. Friends, family, colleagues and peers’ views or perceived views can get in the way of you moving forward. Imagining what they may say or how they might judge you is really unhelpful, particularly if you’re also still trying to ‘please’ them or live up to their perceived expectations of you.

So what can you do to reduce and manage the fears and the blocks?

  • Visualise the future

When we are fearful of something it can be like a bad movie playing constantly in our heads where we imagine all the things that could go wrong with our career if we make a change or step out of our comfort zone. However, you are the Director of the movie and you can rewrite the script at any time. Imagine a positive future where your change or promotion goes well, where it leads to exciting opportunities, meeting new people, feeling fulfilled. Play this new movie in your head daily, tweaking and refining it. If you’re tempted to play the ‘bad’ movie don’t give in, focus on the positive one with the happy ending!

  • Break it down

Now you know the story and how it ends you can work out the steps along the way. You can then translate this into a plan with goals and this is very helpful to avoid procrastination. For example, if your goal is to get promotion, then your actions may include talking to your boss about what you need to focus on to be seen as ready for the next level, getting experience in some key areas through volunteering for projects, attending a training course in a specific area or doing some self-study, making connections through networking internally or externally, working on self-promotion and talking about yourself positively. While some of these may still feel scary by breaking them down you can focus on one area at a time so it is less overwhelming, and you can ask for support and help when you need it.

  • Look for positive people

It’s official positivity is contagious! If you hang out with positive people you are more likely to, not only feel positive but, also emulate their actions and behaviours. If you are surrounded by people who have a growth mind set, who believe you are capable of anything you choose to do it is liberating and energising. Of course, the converse is also true and if you find yourself associating with the crowd who moan and criticise then this can be contagious too so choose carefully which friends and colleagues you spend time with.

If you want to check out your whether you may be sabotaging your career download my free Career Confidence Quiz.

Remember, life is short so don’t let fear win. As Eleanor Roosevelt said “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  Now face fear head on and choose to do something that scares you. Don’t forget to let me know how you get on.

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How to Define your own version of Career Success

Who springs to mind when you hear the word ‘success’? Is it your investment banker friend with the huge house, big car and exotic holidays? Is it the person you went to school with who is now a well known actress just receiving an award? Or is it your neighbour who manages to juggle running her own business with being there for her kids?

Many of us would automatically think of the first two because we have been conditioned to think of success in extrinsic terms – how much someone earns and what their job title or profession tells us about their status or celebrity. But your neighbour is also successful but in a very different way, and a way that is important to her.

Redefining how we see success and deciding for ourselves what is important to us can be the key mindset shift we need to make to enable success to happen.

One of my clients, Jackie, was stuck with status as her main definition of success. She wanted to be able to impress others when asked what she did for a living. This had led to her staying in a media job she no longer enjoyed partly because she was so concerned about what people would think of her. She had not considered how much more ‘impressed’ they may have been talking to someone who really enjoyed their job and was passionate about their career.

If we can focus more on the intrinsic elements of success and think about how we want to feel when we are successful it can be be very freeing, and can allow us to feel more fulfilled at work. Being able to let go of the belief about what other people think is also important, after all if they only value you because of your net worth they aren’t probably the kind of people you want to be around.

So how do you work out what your definition of success is going to be? Try asking yourself some of the following questions and see what emerges (not all of them will have resonance but the important ones for you will?

  • What is my legacy or life purpose going to be? How will I make a difference, and is it important that I do?
  • What do I want to achieve in my life? What are the goals that are land marks for me, that will fulfill me?
  • What opportunities would I like to have?
  • What would I like to learn? What academic achievements are important to me? What skills do I want to acquire?
  • What freedom and challenges do I crave in my life? How can they be financed?
  • How is money important to me?
  • Who are the people that are important for me to make a difference to or to be a role model for?
  • What part of my life do I need to create harmony within?
  • What do I enjoy doing that I want to do more of?

Depending on your answers you should be able to see the beginning of a definition forming. For me I am constantly working on my version and it currently looks like:

  • To be working with interesting and motivated clients to whom I feel I can make a difference
  • To have harmony between my work and life, taking time out to be there for my family and to energise my health and wellbeing
  • To stretch myself by saying yes to things that scare me, and to take opportunities to grow as a coach and a business owner
  • To earn enough to be a moderate ‘planet friendly’ consumer

The freedom working with this definition gives me is immense, and acts as a reassuring guide so I can remind myself that to be successful I need to pay attention to all the areas. For example, sometimes the harmony slips and work takes over so tuning into my definition helps remind me to re-balance. Similarly, when thinking about my pricing strategy I can remind myself of what I need to earn to be successful, and so on.

Mae West said, ” You only have one life but live it right and once is enough.” Think about what ‘living it right’ means for you but don’t wait too long before you make the important changes that will increase your sense of fulfillment and career happiness.

Let me know what your version of success is for you, by leaving a comment below.

Or

Download my free e-book 10 Steps to Career Happiness for more challenge in defining your success criteria.