The days of working for one company until you retire are just about behind us. Climbing the ladder of the corporate world used to rule the day. It was an era where company loyalty was often awarded by promotions and advancements through the ranks, leading employees to remain with the same company until the day they decide to hang up their coat up for the final time. Today, the career path is gradually being redefined. There is no longer a set hierarchy that we look at to define the progression that we take throughout our professional career. The question becomes how to get that much needed management experience in a new era of flat hierarchy’s within the corporate world. Let us look at some alternative and determine what a leader needs to do when he or she is sharing his leadership with so many others in the organization.
The Modern Day Job Search
Today, many job experts are advising that your next search for a job should begin the day that you start a new job. This advice is not too far off the mark, and is rooted in a bit of common sense. If you are going to redefine your career path, you will need to do so with a series of lateral moves that gradually move you into the position that you truly desire. This is not about being disloyal to your employer; rather, it is about understanding the modern day face of the professional world.
It is no longer a given that you will be promoted or advanced within your current organization. That was the old career path that many people followed, where they have a specific career path in mind that they could follow for twenty to thirty years until the day that they eventually retired. This has all changed thanks to the impact that technology and globalization have brought to the table. Organizations are also much flatter today, resulting in a complete paradigm shift when it comes to leadership.
Foster Relationships with Positive Mentors
One way to move through the ranks of the corporate world today is to become more collegial with other managers and supervisors. There was a study recently commissioned that uncovered the truth that nearly four out of every five promotions happening today result from an employee being mentored by someone from within the company. This is a person who ends up delivering positive comments about you to those further up the hierarchical level. If your company does not have a mentorship program, look for ways to develop positive relationships with managers and supervisors. It is also these individuals who will one day become instrumental to you furthering your career, even if that means going to a new company or organization.
Make Sure Your Results are Quantified
To distinguish your abilities from others in an environment where everyone is seen as equal, you need to focus on the results that you deliver.. Since you may not be promoted on the merits of your longevity with one employer alone, it is important to demonstrate your performance over time. This will show others that you are a person who gets things done and is able to prove it. If you are in sales, you can do this by showing steady growth in your quarterly results. Anything that you can document in terms of real numbers will only to serve to benefit you and your career in the future. Do not worry about a slight downturn here and there, as nobody is perfect. Just mark your results with evidence that you have achieved steady progress through the years.
Within a corporate structure that is no longer focus on hierarchy, it can be a struggle to get noticed. Today, you need to engage in the purposeful practice of self-promotion. You may have been taught to be modest when referring to your abilities, but that simply should not apply to your future job search. You want to be highly sought after in your field, and one of the best ways to do that is to promote yourself openly throughout the industry.
You want to be in the practice of selling yourself. Within your existing company, this can happen by letting others know that you are after a promotion. Be present at optional meetings, send out regular emails to your supervisors detailing the progress that you are making on important projects, and continually update your resume with any awards or achievements that you have received. Above all, do not get frustrated if all of your hard work does not appear to go noticed at first. Advancing your career is a process that must be followed through on in order to be successful.
Upgrade Your Knowledge and Skills
You can no longer afford to remain stagnant in terms of your job skills in this day and age. Technology is simply advancing far too rapidly. In fact, the chances are good that what you learned in college is being replaced with new and more efficient ways of accomplishing the same tasks. If you remain behind the curve, you will find that a younger and more prepared workforce stunts your career path. You should be continually on the lookout for trainings and seminars that you can attend to further hone your skills in your chosen profession. Find out what your organization is most in need of, and then set out to be that person who has the skills to get the job done. This is a way to keep you marketable as well. The more certifications that you can have, the more enhanced your resume will become.
Strengthen Your Network
Today, your career path will be furthered along when you know some key individuals that will help get you to where you want to go. You want to meet people that are in your same profession, many of whom will be scattered around the globe, in order to have the connections that you need to advance when the time comes. The more you keep your name in front of others who matter, the more likely you are to be offered a new position when one becomes available. Within your existing organization, you will want to meet people across all departments. Outside your company, engage in networking opportunities that enable you to expand your horizons and open up new possibilities for your career.
Seek out Increased Responsibilities
If you only do the minimum of what is asked of you, it is not likely that you will be remembered as a leader who is ready to advance in your career. Remember that you are trying to find a way to set yourself apart from the rest in your field. Instead, you should volunteer for added responsibilities within your department or team to demonstrate your willingness to improve upon your own skills and be an asset to the organization. This will also paint you in a positive light with others that are watching you, which will come in handy when new opportunities arise at some point in the future.
Modern day leaders take it upon themselves to progress in their own field. The career path today is not marked in stone, and the days of moving up the corporate ladder within one organization are over. It is up to the modern day leader to take his destiny into his own hands. You will want to focus on the steps just outlined in order to develop the acumen necessary to redefine your career path and journey towards excellence in your profession.
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