If you are like most professional people, chances are you are keen to go as far as you possible can in your career. Yet there is often a huge difference between what people set out to do and what they actually achieve.
When people hit a few brick walls and get rejected a few times it is really easy to become disillusioned and give up. However, you know that if you do this it is all over.
So how might you avoid getting stuck in your career?
Don’t Be Passive
There was a time when employers played a key role in the success people achieved. These days that support is often limited to a handful of what are often called the talent pool. The rest are on their own as a general rule.
What this means you need to be proactive and take control of your career. No one else will if you don’t.
Look For Opportunities To Add More Value
There are some who turn up, do the job and go home. They probably do a decent job and work hard. They are unlikely be the type of people who go out of their way to add more value to the success of the organisation.
Develop Your Soft Skills
You clearly have to develop your technical expertise and keep it up to date. However with more and more technology coming on stream all of the time, the job of most professionals is changing.
More and more of the work they are doing is partnering or working alongside those in the business. That requires a lot more interpersonal skills or what are sometimes known as soft skills.
Learn How To Manage
In most professions it is impossible to get beyond a certain level without being able to manage. Managing people is clearly a big part of it. Managing projects and change is also vital.
Learn To Lead
For the most senior roles you have to develop leadership capability. Acquiring the skills is something most can do. Acquiring the right attributes is much harder and much more important.
When you are leading, your success is very much dependent on your ability to get results through others. You will only do this if you can get the buy in and support of others.
Take On New Challenges
This could be taking on a special project. It might even be moving into a different part of the business to get new experience and broaden your skill set.
Speak Up In Your Appraisal
If you are ambitious and want to go further let your boss know. They are not mind readers but they can help you get on in your career if you ask them for the help you need.
The Bottom Line: Career success does not come with a guarantee. On the other hand there is a lot that you can do to stack the odds in your favour.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants achieve more career success. Learn more here.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.