John and Sally worked in the same company at the same position. John was an extrovert, who loved interacting with his team, had a friendly rapport with his manager, took initiatives and rarely missed any deadline. Sally kept herself busy with her work throughout the day, which she was undoubtedly good at, had little or no interaction whatsoever, religiously followed her 9 to 5 daily schedule and rarely went for a team outing. Over the course of 12 months, John got sponsored to a promotion by his manager, worked his way up at two more companies and finally settled for a managerial position at the age of 28. In the meanwhile, Sally kept working in the same company, in the same capacity, still following her 9 to 5 schedule. She did earn a good monetary appraisal in the meanwhile, but that’s just it. Who do you think, of the two, has better and speedy career growth?
It’s just not about survival, it’s about thinking beyond survival
The reason why John turned out to be a winner in this race is not because he worked extra hard or had a gift of gab, or because he was more social than others. In fact, the true reason is a combination of all of the above. In these fluctuating economic times, just focusing on survival is not enough. Thinking about the next level is what is required in the pursuit of success. Following are the methods, which if inculcated in your life can very well take your career and professional life to the next level.
Have a blueprint ready
Instead of bouncing off like a ping-pong ball from one place to another, you must have a plan ready, some sort of roadmap that has a clearly marked starting point, the final destination where you want to see yourself, and the major milestones along the way. The blueprint surely will require some minor adjustments along the way, but the important thing is to implement the plan early on in your career.
What’s the definition of ultimate success for you?
What drives you to work? Who are your ideals? How do you measure success? What all worldly comforts would you like to enjoy in your life? What kind of future have you envisaged for yourself or your family? All these questions will provide a clear vision of the ideal life scenario, which will serve the purpose of a guiding light. The clearer you are about your dreams and goals, the easier it will be for you to follow them and work your way there.
Mentors move over; It’s sponsors that you need
Most of us are working in a corporate environment where the key to success often lies with someone to whom we report on daily basis. Many consider mentors will do the job. However, mentors might offer you a foot in the door, but to get past that you actually require a sponsor. In the corporate world, a sponsor can be your boss, or your boss’s boss. He is someone who has conviction in your abilities, is willing to champion your cause in front of his seniors and has a significant voice at the table. If you are an entrepreneur, an investor or a venture capitalist will serve the purpose of a sponsor who helps to make new connections and raise money for your venture.
However, sponsorship isn’t something that you can leave in the hands of fate or luck. Whether it is through exceeding expectations through stellar performance time and again, or demonstrating that you are a trustworthy and loyal protégé; you have to earn sponsorship.
Build a network
Having a good network is of supreme importance and can help you to get entry where you wouldn’t have the opportunity under normal circumstances. The rule of thumb in professional world is, the more people you know the better. Therefore, networking doesn’t stop once you have got the job. Reach out to an audience as large as you can and try and maintain a meaningful relationship with them. With new age online technologies like social media and social networks, this particular task has become even easier.
Be a next gen warrior
Adaptability is the key to survival. With the passage of time, it is essential for everyone to remain aware of the current technologies and implement them as and when required in order to stay relevant. A big example of the same is the internet explosion which has engulfed every sphere of life. There is little that exists in this world and isn’t yet influenced by the internet. Having a powerful brand online is the new weapon of rapid career growth. The ability to fully leverage the new age tools and technologies in your favor can make all the difference.
Saurabh Tyagi took to writing at a tender age of ten, when he submitted his first essay for the school magazine. Although an engineer by qualification, he has kept his creative flame alive and still writes and guest blogs for online education websites on various career and education related topics.
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Category: Career Advice