5 Ways To Grow Your Career

Growth in your career or job role isn’t always about waiting patiently, getting lucky, or being someone’s buddy. While any one of those might help out, they don’t represent what allows most people to move forward.

Through my consulting and coaching practice I come across a lot of people who tell me that they want job or career growth. They will often deliver a very compelling story to me about how they’ve waited in line, paid their dues, and still they find themselves stuck.

Sure, sometimes we might see someone who appears to have good luck give them a helping hand or someone in their family provided a connection, or their opportunities come from family money, but there are plenty of ways to improve your personal position without any of those.

Here are five of my favorites:

  1. Extend your network. Today more than ever before we have options to create a broader reach. It’s important to get to conferences, association events, and seminars, but you also have to make the best use of your time while there. Purposely meet some new people, introduce yourself, and then be sure to secure the future of that effort by connecting in your social media network such as LinkedIn.
  2. Read. Some people believe we are operating in an information overload environment but that is really the good news. You have millions of opportunities and choices to read something every day. It doesn’t matter what platform you choose (digital or more traditional hard copy) but you should try to squeeze some of this in every day or at least weekly. Subscribe to blogs that offer both validity and reliability, download a book, go to a library, or buy a book from a retail bookstore or Amazon.
  3. Be more visible. I swear there are many great people out there who go completely unnoticed. It’s true, there are plenty. Extending your network will help and you can even find some additional tips online. Consider attending meetings, asking a question or two, and sometimes even tooting your own horn. In many circles anyone can be just another face in the crowd unless they engage with others.
  4. Listen better. It might feel like you’ve heard this too many times, but you must always strive to listen more and listen better. Listening is not the same as hearing and as such you have to develop good listening skills. Listening takes a lot of energy and because of this we often don’t listen well. Fatigue is sometimes a factor, so no kidding, get your rest, but also be patient, don’t form quick judgments, be sure to appropriately paraphrase, and avoid bias.
  5. Role model. One of the best things you can do is select one or more good role models. Find someone you admire and look up to, consider how they interact with others, how they are building their network and what they’ve done to progressively accomplish more. It doesn’t mean you agree with all of their actions or behaviors but there is definitely something positive you can learn.

If you’re reading this improving your job role or improving your career is probably important to you. Don’t stop with just reading this, don’t think about it off and on today or tomorrow and then go right back into your same old routine.

Create some goals for all five of these areas, or at least pick three of the five. Have specific measurements such as identifying (which ones, how many?) and attending meetings, meeting (5, 10, or 100) new people, or selecting one or two role models for observation. Each day, week, or month check in on your goals.

Hold yourself accountable.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSP), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.