There is a fine line between being in the groove and in a rut. Often what separates the two experiences are intangible items like attitude and perspective…little things that can fundamentally alter your career trajectory. Whether you just landed your first real job or have been diligently scaling the corporate ladder for years, taking the following steps will ensure you get the most from your current role.
- Get Competitive: While the current role may not be your ideal position, demonstrating how you outshine the competition will help paint you as a high potential employee worthy of investment. Get in the habit of documenting key accomplishments and examples of how you exceed the scope of your role. It will provide proof points during review discussions or interviews if your current company fails to appreciate the extra effort.
- Learn and Earn: Your current job is a resume builder. Each year you should add skills and experiences that demonstrate how you’ve increased your knowledge and value. So take on new projects, fill in for the boss, and increase the value, quality, or speed with which you perform your role.
- Eliminate, Automat and Delegate: You can make your current job more appealing by removing parts that have little or no value. If something can’t be eliminated, consider options for automating or outsourcing the task to lower costs and increase efficiency. If that’s not an option, looks to swap tasks with others. Sometimes what you loathe is another person’s sweet spot. Channel your inner horse trader and start swapping.
- Ensure the Fix is In: Sometimes you can alter or negotiate away an element of drudgery. You can however take control by fixing what is broken i.e. the timing, delivery mechanism, or format of that report you produce and no one reads. Chances are your manager and colleagues will appreciate the upgrade.
- Become Irrelevant: Training your replacement can be a scary proposition, but being a mentor is thrilling and nothing says you’re ready for the next step leadership role like actually being a leader.
Point of caution: Nothing makes a Gen-X hiring manager perform an Anderson Cooper eye-roll faster than a millennial (or Gen Z if you can believe it) jobseeker who lists becoming CEO as part of his five-year plan. Sure, ambition and confidence are key characteristics, but it’s important to demonstrate a sense of humility and a willingness to listen, learn, and pay your proverbial dues.
Need a career coach? Contact me via www.plotlineleadership.com.
Be sure to check out my latest book The Introvert’s Guide to Job Hunting and follow me on Twitter at @timtoterhi