Are you stuck for ways to power your career into surge mode?
Pretend your company/industry is a patient experiencing mid-life crisis, and they’ve come in to consult with Dr You. You’ve listened to their gripes about stagnating interests and prospects and you figure there are definitely possibilities for this client.
Now imagine Dr You is advising patient You about becoming magnificent, motivated and kick-starting a fresh lease of (career) life. Just as coaches have tips for maximising performance, here are some tips for what you can do to give your flagging career a boost.
1. Research/surprise with facts, knowledge and strategies
Get passionately interested in where your company and the industry it’s in is heading. Gobble up all the information and seminars you can get your head around. Listen to every groovy (and maybe not so groovy) guru you come across – ask them questions, challenge their research (politely), flip every conventional wisdom you’re told. Search for interesting podcasts – listen when you travel or walk. Pretend it’s all super-food and become a glutton for employment health.
2. Be a general in the vocation war-room – plan!
What does it take to get “wins”? Plot all your approaches for the next month, year? Maybe in today’s parlance, projecting five years ahead is strictly for the would-be clairvoyants, but there’s no harm in amassing a grasp of every possibility awaiting people in your profession. Often the writing is on the wall for those industries and companies that care to look. Even if they don’t – you can be aware, and planning for change.
3. Don’t be a silo – be a collaborator
There’s lots to be made collaborating with others. Make it a positive experience. Who knows where those collaborative relationships will lead. Keep them positive and constructive. If you are in a position to suggest a collaboration – choose to work with someone impressive and more skilled than you, or on a strategic project. Share your wisdom. Who knows what opportunities will come from those relationships in the future.
4. Look outside and seek feedback
Study other people’s jobs and companies, talk to recruiters to find out what they look for, and which industries are on the move, and get critical and constructive feedback on ways you can improve.
5. Be a powerhouse of energy
Do extra work and show initiative – demonstrate your appetite for leaping tricky hurdles and getting a buzz from the sweat equity. Don’t lurk in a corner and imagine a keen deity’s eye will fatefully alight on you. That might happen in movies, but few people’s radars work this way.
No one’s asking you to be a shameless starlet flogging her bits on Instagram; there are more considered ways of showcasing your ideas, talents and initiatives. Write up action plans without being asked, choose a willing mentor, define how you want your career to advance (seek their advice) and do a lot of listening and asking. Present ideas and reports at meetings.
6. Take on voluntary work out of hours
Offer your help to a community group or a cause – provide support and help to others where you have skills they lack. You’ll be frequently amazed at where this may lead, quite often in a direction you never anticipated.
Wouldn’t life be dull if you had everything predicted and rationally planned for? You’ll meet some great souls as well; possibly future mates, sometimes great friends who are completely different to you.
Best of all, you’ll get some much-needed grist for your mill, testing ideas and concepts on very different audiences and recipients, and you’ll be the more informed (and experienced) for it.
Do all of the above – and you will radiate assurance and career sunshine, even in the gloomiest weather.
Eve Ash is a psychologist, author, filmmaker, public speaker and entrepreneur. She runs Seven Dimensions, a company specialising in training resources for the workplace.