As the year draws to an end, Career coach Eunice Asante at The Workers Journal reflects on her biggest takeaways from 2022 that you can take into the New Year.
Plan your career
Success does not just happen; you have to plan for it. You may not know all the details, but start by planning where you are going, what you want to achieve, how you will accomplish this and when.
At the beginning of my career, I wish I had spent more time developing skills across industries rather than focusing on specific skills needed for a particular job. I encourage anyone not to get stuck in one career path.
The question is not what you want to be but who you want to be and how you want your work to show up in the world. Think about the type of work that fills you with energy and how to build core skills that transfer across industries.
Ask about the skills and industries of the future and what you need to develop now. If you focus on future-proofing your skills, you will be able to find a job in almost any industry. And if you can get ahead of the curve, you will always be in demand.
Be bold and ask for more money
It took me too long to understand how negative ideas around money affected my career and kept me underpaid.
Some of the biggest reasons why employees are underpaid is their failure to ask for more money. The longer you allow yourself to be underpaid, the wider the gap between you and your better-paid employees in the same work grows.
Research your earnings across your profession and arm yourself with information to avoid making assumptions about your pay.
If you are worried that you may be underpaid and want more information, read my blog about this here.
Become an active employee
Most people are passive employees and do not take full responsibility for their careers. But changing how you viewed yourself can make the difference.
What if you saw yourself as business-minded while at work? What if you challenged yourself to only work within roles with clear opportunities for a promotion?
Create a detailed two to three-year plan on how you intend to progress through an organisation. What would your career look like if this were you? Often the problem is not the job but our thinking. This is a mindset I've learned to develop over the years.
Keep an eye on time
Time is one of the most important resources that I refuse to waste as I mature in my career. And as a result, I will not stay in a job that no longer serves me or does not add value to my life.
If you have a situation where you need to stay in a particular job, be intentional about what you need to do to get the most out of your current position or start planning your next move. The worst thing you can do is to remain in a job you hate where you are no longer growing while you watch your precious time escape.
How to ace a job interview
This may sound counterintuitive, but you are not the focus of a job interview. The job opportunity and the organisation's needs are the focus of the job interview.
The key to securing your next job is demonstrating how you will deliver on the needs of the role. During an interview, focus on what most interests the interviewer and highlight how you will help your employer meet their goals and maximise the return on their investment.
Let your employer know what you intend to do, the difference you intend to make in this role, how you will succeed and meet their business goals – for example. Discuss the value you would bring to a position by leveraging your work history and past accomplishments. Click here for more on successfully navigating job interviews.
How to handle a bad manager
A bad manager is someone that refuses or is unable to see the problems around them. If you have to work with a bad manager, the key is not to let them derail you from achieving your career goals. Aim to achieve an agreement with them that focuses on actions and outcomes that you would both like to see.
Learn how to work around or away from bad managers here.
Read, read, read
The older I get, the more I realise that there is still so much to learn, and this is why reading is so important. It opens your mind to new ideas and ways of doing things, which can be crucial to getting ahead in your career.
If you are serious about your career progression, consider reading often and widely. Here is a list of some of my favourite books, that have shaped who I am today.
Boredom at work
If you are constantly experiencing boredom at work, ask yourself if your organisation is one you want to stay working for. If the answer is no, you should plan your exit strategy and do so quickly.
If the answer is yes, then the question is how you can step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
Beating boredom at work is about being proactive and finding new ways to create change and excitement. You can connect your strengths and passions to resolve work-based problems.
Look at what is missing within your organisation and find ways to help your employer address them. It can start as a small project and grow with time. The most important thing to remember is that being proactive will create a sense of newness, excitement, and responsibility. It will allow you to refocus your strengths and grow your skills.
If finding ways to solve workplace problems is not possible within your role, consider going for promotions or secondment positions. You could also develop new skills to work in other parts of the organisation, which may include changing roles completely.
Keep your eye on your race
It is very tempting to compare yourself to others, especially when we are bombarded with images of all the success others seem to have. But the truth is that life, like your career, is a marathon and we are in it for the long game. Focus on the path that will get you to the desired outcome and run your race.
CVs are relevant
Think about your CV as your personal advertisement, displaying who you are to the world of work. Your CV should tell your story. A well-crafted CV uses language and keywords and paints a picture of achievement and value to attract attention. Don't just list your job description when listing your employment history. focus on the impact and your value and how it relates to the job you are applying for.
Which of the takeaways resonated with you? What would you love to implement as we head into 2023, and what career changes are you hoping to make? Let me know in the comments or on my Instagram @IamEuniceAsante
Until Next Time