No matter where we are on our professional journey, we always want to be aware of our career progression. While also remembering that it takes time to move forward, the workplace isn’t like grade school where we are constantly being tested and reminded that we have either made the mark or we need to step it up. But all in all, each of us is on a path that is hopefully leading us toward a brighter professional future.
It’s easy to think that the first full-time job we had (or are going to have) defined everything, but in all honesty the first ten years are the most crucial. With each new job and position, we want to remember to look for a role that highlights our strengths while challenging us at the same time. Furthermore, we never want to become stagnant.
We recently had the opportunity to hear from Joy Carter and we wanted to share some of her wisdom. Consequently, we want you to keep these ideas in mind while you tackle your professional journey.
A few tips to help your progress:
1. Negotiate your salary. Whether it’s your first job or your last, you’re worth it.
2. Goals! Goals! Goals! If we consciously take disciplined steps, we will get where we want to be. Every 90 days, set 3-5 goals that you can accomplish. Know where you want to be, and then figure out how to get there.
3. Take advantage of the small moments. Whether that’s taking advantage of the right opportunity over lunch, coffee, or when riding the elevator.
4. Don’t fear feedback; ask for it. Your managers and your peers may have excellent insight for you about your strengths and about ways that you could improve. Are you aware of your RBF?
5. Mentorship is key for all. Observe the people around you in your company or community, and consider creating a mentor relationship with them. Relationship makes us stronger whether you’re the mentor or the mentee. Career decisions can be overwhelming; don’t go it alone.
6. Be aware of all the possible next steps you could take on your professional path in the upcoming five years. Do your best to avoid committing to one direction. Simply be aware of your options.
Career progression can be daunting and illusive. We hope our tips today are a reminder that you are not on this journey alone. Remember to stay disciplined and to always be aware of all the possibilities.