Are You Ready to Crush Your 2020 Career Goals?
Often, we only make changes in our lives when the discomfort of staying is worse than working up the courage and effort it takes to make a change.
But what does all this inevitably lead to?
- Wasted time
- Ending up in a place where you aren’t happy and feel stagnant
- Losing the excitement that surrounds your potential at work, making it not as easy to push through your 9-5 everyday
Don’t let 2020 be the year that you get lazy! Instead use this year to leverage your career into new opportunities for fitting of your true interests, long term goals and lifestyle rather than sticking to what’s worked “just fine” for years and is comfortable.
Here are a few ways to re-vamp your career and set some goals for 2020:
☑️ Get your report on board with your development
If you’ve been stuck in the same job while others have climbed the career ladder, don’t just sit around and wait for a raise! Don’t wait until your next quarterly review, invite your manager to chat and explain your interest in growing your career and increasing your scope of responsibility within the company. Say something like:
“I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant with my existing responsibilities and I can’t help but see some areas where I could provide some support, would you be able to discuss some ways that I could take my role to the next level?”
This move is great not only because it opens the door to new opportunities but also shows how self-aware you are of your current responsibilities, what your potential is, and how you are willing to take the initiative to reach your career goals!
☑️ Ask for a raise
Since you started with your company, you have likely increased your knowledge, skill set and responsibility. Don’t sit around being underpaid, having your compensation not equal your increasing ability to perform and fulfill your role out of fear of a potentially awkward or uncomfortable conversation.
Instead of simply asking your manager for a raise, take some of the pressure of both of you by asking for a path to receive a race.
Whether you choose to ask for a raise or ask for a path to receive a raise, be sure to utilize your core skills and how you have invested in these skills and knowledge to better perform in your company, industry and role. Additionally, have a clear understanding of your value so that you can leverage your operations and revenue-driving value into questions of how much your raise should be. These quantifiable metrics are also great because they make your managers job easier when they have to vouch or rationalize their reason for giving you a raise to their manager or financial stakeholder.
Within the raise requesting process, never mention or compare yourself to co-workers’ contributions or compensation. Also important, never mention external factors such as job market or industry trends, cost of living, increased expenses (arrival of a new child, college tuition, buying a house) they may be easier to explain but they carry very little weight and are often irrelevant to your manager.
☑️ Not feeling passion and excitement from your role? It may be time to launch a job search
Job searching and selling yourself to a new employer is far from easy and requires a lot of extra time invested on top of your 9-5 job. You’ll be spending your weekends perfecting your resume, scanning ZipRecruiter, rushing to interviews after work and scheduling in stacked phone interviews during your lunch break.
The good news is it’s easier to find a job when you already have one – the inner confidence and security it provides is invaluable.
But before you quickly leave a reliable job to “change it up” and look for something new that fulfills you, make sure you soul search BEFORE you job search!
Research new roles, check out what openings exist in your area, conduct informational interviews with professionals in jobs that interest you, and eventually narrow down 1-3 target jobs that align with your life interests rather than just your career interests.
An out of the box (and easy!) way to soul search your way into a new line of work is to visit a Barnes and Noble store’s magazine section, which magazine do you pick up first? Whichever peaks your interest first may be a good place to start. If you picked up a travel magazine, it doesn’t mean you need to quit your corporate accounting desk job and hit the road full-time and start a travel blog. Maybe there is a local travel company, travel agent, airline, or cruise line looking to hire in their accounting or finance departments with some awesome perks? Or maybe change up your line of work slightly or work for a new company where you can expand your business travel!
Evaluate which of your skills are transferable, identify overlapping themes within your current and potential companies, industries and job responsibilities – it’s easier to make a career step than a monumental leap and massive learning curves can be hazardous!
If you don’t have the time (or strong desire) to launch a full-on job search and aren’t certain about leaving your current company, a passive job search is always an option. Send a couple resumes out and see if a shorter commute or a significantly higher salary is out there. Plus, keeping your self-branding and interviewing skills active is always good!
Prior to submitting any applications, make sure your resume is updated and avoid these common resume pitfalls.
☑️ Just because your current job or company isn’t great now, doesn’t mean it will always be like this
When things start to go south at work, we often are quick to jump to another company without revaluating where they are in their current role, proactively identifying day-to-day changes YOU can make, or seeing if there are any open roles in your company you could move into.
The good news is that just because your job isn’t going well now – weather is due to tension in between co-workers, your daily tasks not being exciting enough, a micromanaging report interfering with your work or unexpected company mergers and operations changes – doesn’t mean that things won’t be good in the future or that YOU don’t have the ability to improve your working conditions.
A lot of us never had proper training or upfront preparation for how to succeed in our current role and we unintentionally fell into it. Fortunately, it’s never to late to get the playbook of how to excel in a particular career. Set up informational interviews with those in your line of work that are at a higher seniority level than you, what tips and tricks brought them success? What seminars and trainings do they recommend? With a little effort and an open mind, you can reignite your career growth, set career goals and inspire daily career drive!
If you feel like you are being taken advantage of by others (especially under performers!) and reports at work who indulge in your reliability, consistency and quality work causing you to be overwhelmed with too much to do, it may be time to learn some effective ways to respond when asked to take on a new project! To read my blog on 4 ways to answer new task requests, click here.
☑️ Develop a fresh approach to networking events work and self-branding
Networking events can become a bit routine, especially if you are in the middle of your career and have been attending them for years. It’s easy to hide in a corner of the room and have conversations with either someone that you came with or have met before, not introduce yourself to new people and make an early exit. Keeping yourself (and your personal brand) on display is crucial, here’s a few super easy branding goals to adopt in 2020:
- Before your next networking event, count out 5 or 10 business cards to bring along and don’t let yourself leave the event until you have given them all out
- Limit conversations to 5-7 minutes – hanging on to one person for a long time can be comforting but also awkward, plus they need to meet lots of people too!
- Avoid mundane and common networking moves like sending a basic LinkedIn message or email asking them to coffee or being too quick to give them a business card (while they are important, make sure you can provide them some kind of value and aren’t so obvious in your sales approach)
☑️ Refresh your LinkedIn game
LinkedIn is an efficient space to brand yourself, maintain professional relationships, spread company messages and get the attention of recruiters and potential employers! Here are a few goals you can set to make sure your digital presence is stronger than ever this year:
- Commit to reading the first 1 or 2 pages of your LinkedIn news feed each morning and leave at least one thoughtful comment or question (this does NOT include saying ‘Congratulations!’ on new job updates or a simple ‘Great article!’). Leaving comments on others’ posts not only strengthens your professional relationships and keeps you on their radar, but helps you get your name and profile out there. This method is great for increasing your profile views!
- Revamp your LinkedIn profile every 6 months (twice a year). LinkedIn’s algorithm rewards those who are active when it comes to keeping their profile’s content fresh. Every 6 months, swap out your profile picture and cover photo, re-write your About section and Headline, and update your job responsibilities in your current job.
- Set a reasonable goal of how many times per month your are going to post on LinkedIn and create content calendar (I am for 4-6 posts per month personally). Make sure to share a plethora of various content from company updates, personal career thoughts, external articles, and blogs – but make sure it’s not just straight up self-serving marketing for you and your company!
- Check out my blog on 6 Easy Ways to Skyrocket Your LinkedIn Performance TODAY!
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest job seekers find their “just right” jobs for over 40 years.
A 3 time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
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