3 Daily Actions to Own Your Career
The company doesn’t matter. Your manager doesn’t matter. What really matters is that YOU own your career! No one cares more about your success than you. You should strive to do these 3 things every day to truly demonstrate ownership of your career.
Whether you are an employee, consultant, or business owner, you should strive to outperform everyone else, every single day. This is not just some fluff statement reminding you to work hard. From a technical perspective, you can’t truly say that you are outperforming anyone if you have no means of measuring performance. Companies look at sales, market share, etc., but what about individuals? You should understand what metrics your employer uses to assess performance, and maintain awareness of where you are in comparison to others. If there aren’t any metrics in place, then consider establishing some with your manager, even if they are just things that you use to assess your own performance. Remember, you are always competing with yourself.
Work with a Purpose
Stop going through the motions! You must be focused on maximizing every opportunity that you have. Whether your love your job or absolutely hate it, you still go to work. Therefore, make the most of it. How do you identify the purpose? Be very clear about what knowledge or skills you need to achieve your goals, and then extract those things from your job. There is something valuable that you can take from every opportunity, but it is up to you to be aware of what it is that you need to take and to stay focused on getting those things every day. You do not have to love your job in order to take something from it that will position you for a better tomorrow.
We could replace the word networking with relationship building. First, it is something that you should do on a regular basis, not just when you have a need. Second, it is a two-way street, so you should be seeking opportunities to help someone advance in their career or improve their life, even when you seek to gain nothing from them in return. Consider reaching out to an old friend or colleague just to see how things are going, connect with someone (or a group) to share your ideas and experiences, or find an opportunity to mentor/support younger professionals in your industry.
Each of these actions is simple but requires forethought and commitment on your part. Do these things every day to OWN your career, and you will be positioning yourself for success!