Professional people are bright and highly talented individuals. Yet what I have noticed is that an awful lot of them fail to realise anything like their professional potential which is both sad and a wasted opportunity.
So what in my experience must professional people do to keep moving forward in their careers?
Rely Less On Qualifications As Your Route To Long Term Success
Yes it is fantastic that you have achieved your professional qualifications in your field. At the same time qualifications alone will only take you so far. It can be tempting to keep adding to your professional qualifications in the belief that this will make the difference.
Become A Feedback Hunter
We all thrive on feedback and in my experience people are extremely reluctant to go out and proactively ask for it. Yes you can wait for your next performance review but would it not be better to actually put strengths to work or start working on improving something right now. The reality is you will get the most valuable feedback right after you have done something.
Become A T Shaped Professional
I was first introduced to this idea by a partner in one of the big accountancy firms I worked for. The basic idea is that if you want to be successful in your career you have to retain excellence in your professional field (the vertical on the T) and also be able to contribute in a wide range of areas (the horizontal on the T).
Break The Stereotyping
Rightly or wrongly people tend to make judgements about you based on how you label yourself. If you say you are accountant, lawyer, computer programmer or management consultant, people will pigeon hole you based on their often incorrect assumption of what the role involves. Simply introducing yourself differently by talking about the benefits of what you do can break patterns and pre-conceived ideas.
Develop Your Soft Skills
There is a lot of talk about soft skills and the importance of these skills to a successful career for professionals. The trouble is that the term soft skills is a bit misleading. I would re-badge them as people skills and specifically being able to communicate, listen, support, encourage, engage and present. People skills are not just necessary but essential to your success.
Accept There Will Be Setbacks
The fact is you will go for jobs and get rejected. Everyone does. It’s not the rejection that matters, it’s how you deal with it and respond that counts.
The Bottom Line: Professional people have the potential to achieve great success in their career and often small changes can make a huge difference.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professional people achieve more career success. He invites you to check out his free audio masterclass
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.