MY TOP 3 CAREER DECISIONS
As you’re faced with career decisions it’s hard to know what’s the best thing to do. You’re rapidly learning and contributing while simultaneously trying to figure out just what you want.
It can be really tempting to just look at what’s right in front of you and make a decision. Sometimes, you just have to. Over the long-term, though, having a plan and making informed and deliberate decisions will get you better aligned with your version of success.
As I look back on 15 years in corporate, here are the top 3 things I did to benefit my career.
I tend to play things pretty safe. However, when I landed into corporate as an R&D intern to support a crazy tool that no one knew how to use and didn’t have a clear path to, well, anything, I knew this wasn’t my end goal or dream.
Interviewing just a few months later for a permanent position ended up with me changing roles, responsibilities, and organizations within the company. Taking the job and getting a glimpse of the expansiveness a larger company provides showed me something pretty key — I didn’t have to be stuck in the same role forever.
After getting my bearings I discovered my longer-term goals were for roles that focused on breadth rather than depth. This was key to my strategy to move roles. And I did about every 12-24 months for the first several years. I’m so glad I did.
This one may sound weird, but a big key to growth and upward trajectory in your career is a solid set of sales skills. I worked hard to work through my imposter syndrome and take credit for everything I did.
I got really good at connecting the dots that weren’t obvious to others. How my specific projects and contributions tied to the company’s bottom line, or large organizational decisions, or the betterment of others.
Sales skills, messaging, and positioning yourself are a big cornerstone of what I work on with my clients.
Continuing to value and invest in myself was one of the best things I did. I have nearly always had a mentor or coach in the last 15 years. I look to people whose skills I admire or who are further along than me to learn from and grow from.
As part of moving around a lot, continuing learning was a big part of the process. I would constantly be learning new skills, practices, software, or policies. I also invested in conferences, courses, and memberships.
The big piece of all of these was how deliberate I was. I didn’t pick or choose things based on what someone else wanted for me, but what I wanted for me. Which means I spent time thinking about what I wanted and where I wanted to go.
Curious about my top 3 regrets? You can find those here.
What does this bring up for you? Let me know in the comments below!