Navigating Your Career Path with
Self-Awareness is Your Compass to Navigate Your Career Path
Like life, your career path can be a long-winding journey that’s full of ups and downs, twists and turns. And whatever stage you’re in – whether a fresh graduate or an executive – there’s no sure way to let you know that you’re doing this job thing right. Self doubt, internal and external pressures can kick in, making it difficult for you to navigate your career. The solution? Self-awareness. It’s up to you to know what you want, to chase it, and thrive in it. Think of it as your compass whenever you feel lost in the different points of your journey. Here’s how:
Picking your starting point
Spend some time getting to know your strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. What is your Why? It can be difficult, especially if you have family obligations or financial constraints. But you’ll be relieved to know that you’re not stuck with your first job forever. You just have to choose a career that aligns with you in some way, even just a little, then see from there if it’s a good fit. If not, move on. That’s perfectly normal.
Selling your skills
To sell your skills, you have to know what those are. And don’t just list them. Think deeply about your accomplishments and how you’ve helped others. On your resume, instead of telling companies what you did, tell them your impact and quantify it so they know what you bring to the table. You’ll also want to write a cover letter. It’s not always required but it can definitely make you stand out, and maybe even be the one thing that lands you an interview.
Choosing a company
They not only choose you, you also choose them. According to Barb Campbell, Global Escalation Leader, “You need to speak your truth more and tell people who you are, because if you don’t, if you’re not telling people what you need, you’re not telling people who you are. They’re not going to bring you the opportunities that line up with that”. When you get an offer, ensure that you’ve properly considered your growth in the company, your manager, the pay, benefits, culture, and work-life balance. Ask about these in the interview, do your research, and see if they’re aligned with your goals. When in doubt, ask yourself which employer makes you feel the most valued? The best companies are the ones who take care of their people.
Asking for feedback and promotion
Once you’re mindful of how you want to grow with a company, you’ll be more confident in asking for a promotion to accelerate your career. Don’t just wait for it. Asking is a skill that helps you lay claim to what you want and informs you how to get it. If you’re not confident enough right now, start small and ask for projects then work your way up until you’re comfortable asking for more without the fear of rejection. Feedback is also key. Actively ask for measurable and specific feedback to confirm if you’re on the right track. Always remember that growth is never comfortable and happens when you get outside of your comfort zone.
Forging other paths
Beware of boredom and know its signs like: lowered excitement, slow progression and small company impact. When it’s time to look for something else don’t be disheartened. Look within yourself. Take stock of all the experiences you’ve enjoyed and the skills you’ve learned even if one of them seems insignificant, it may be your stepping stone into the next chapter in your journey.
Listen to SYCK Podcast Episode 2
Meet Barb Campbell, a result-oriented professional with 15+ years of experience as a trusted advisor for large enterprise customers and Fortune 500 brands. This article was written based on highlights from our conversation on Episode 02 of the SYCK Podcast. Listen here for full episode.
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