Seven Early Warning Signs
that Your Career Is in Neutral
by William Arruda*
1. You are rarely challenged in your career position.
2. You haven't changed positions in the past three years.
3. You have lost sight of your career goals and have no idea what your next step is.
4. Headhunters never call you.
5. Practically any member of your team could do your job.
6. Same stuff, different day describes your work week.
7. If you took the name off the top of your resume, it could be any of your peers resumes.
If some of these statements resonate with you, GREAT! The first step to getting your career in gear is to recognize that it has stalled. Here are some actions you can take immediately to take your career from neutral to overdrive.
Be focused. Know what you want. The most effective career management starts with a goal. You need to know where you're headed so you point yourself at the target. You must document and review your career goals and refine them as necessary.
Be introspective. Ask yourself what it is that makes you successful. Review everything you have done in your career and remember those times when you really shined. What skills were you using? What made you so successful? Then make a plan to inject those skills into everything you do.
Be open to input. The best people to help you position yourself among your peers are your peers (and everyone else who knows you well). It's those around you who can give you perspective and help you understand exactly what makes you unique, valuable, attractive, loveable, exceptional...If you want to know what others think about you, check out Personal Branding and the 360Reach branding assessment.
Be differentiated from everyone else who is aspiring to the same career goals. Don't be a commodity; be a brand. Stand out from your peers the way Starbucks stand out from other coffee houses or Target stands out from other retailers.
Be visible inside and outside your organization. You won't get very far hiding in your office. Be more visible with your team, your peers, your manager and those throughout the company. Commit to getting out of your office and building relationships with those around you.
Be committed to an on-going career management plan. Effective career management requires persistence. It's not about getting your resume ready when you are looking for a job and then not thinking about your career again until you're about to make a move. Most people spend more time maintaining their cars than they do managing their careers. Your car and take you to your job; you career management plan will take you to a place called fulfillment. Be disciplined about managing your career. Do at least three career building activities each week.
* Used with permission from William Arruda, Reach, http://www.reachcc.com Reach Communications Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved.