Four Tips for Correcting Career Myopia
By Greg Simpson on August 19, 2013
Do you feel like you’re working hard at your job, but not making any real progress in your career? Millions of employees get stuck due to their own nearsightedness. As best-selling author and business guru Daniel H. Pink puts it, “Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.”
Companies are looking for employees who show foresight – anticipating what will be needed in the future and proactively accepting accountability for their own career development and performance. In other words, individuals with the vision and drive to get things done.
Here are four tips for correcting career myopia:
- Develop yourself. Take the initiative for continuing education. Whether it’s self-directed learning or instructor-led classes, your formal development shouldn’t stop when you land the job. Identify where you’d like to move next and what it’ll take to get there. Then, just do it.
- Establish relationships. Ask someone you admire to act as a mentor and maintain networks within the organization. These relationships can help provide insight into the big picture – and direction on how to achieve the goals you’ve set on your horizon.
- Identify a need and then fill it. Your job description outlines the fundamentals required for your position, but it shouldn’t stop there. Increase your value by assuming additional responsibilities, suggesting process improvements, identifying cost-savings opportunities, etc.
- Become the go-to person. Managers know the employees they can count on to get the job done … the ones who will put in the hours to see the project through to completion and devise strategies to overcome challenges. These are the employees who “push toward the horizon.”
Task-oriented clock watchers are unlikely to get tapped for a promotion. The employees who get ahead are those who survey the organizational landscape, assess their skills, proactively take steps to align their expertise with the organization’s mission, and then put in it all into action.
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