Top 5 best ways to fast track your career
Time for a new challenge? Read on for ideas on how to fast track your corporate career.
1. Become a Strategist
Alexander the Great didn’t conquer the Macedonian Empire by browsing Seek.com all day or paying an on-line career coaching company to write his resume.
No. He was strategic, calculated and informed. Strategy is an approach we often fail to use in a career context, and too many people end up waiting a lifetime for that “once in a lifetime” opportunity.
Covered ever so briefly below are three tips for developing a strategy. We will delve deeper into this over the coming few weeks.
Capitalise on your competencies: Being strategic is all about understanding your limits and your capabilities. It’s about exploiting your strengths, improving your weaknesses and using that knowledge to inform your career decisions.
Define your medium & long term career goals: Based on what you know of yourself, what kind of roles do you want to be performing? What do you want to be doing in X years?
Create a career road map: How will you achieve your goals? This isn’t just about getting the right certification or qualification; it’s about targeted networking, monitoring the market, researching fertile workplaces.
2. Identify High Growth Environments
Stop monitoring Google’s job vacancy list and start looking for companies experiencing high growth.
Seeds sprout quicker when planted in well fertilised soil and your career is no different. If you can land a job in a fast growing company you will have unprecedented opportunities & challenges presented to you. Caution: if you don’t like the deep-end, then keep searching Google’s vacancy list.
However to get into these roles in the first place you need to know where and when to look. Recruiters won’t do this for you so you need to do it yourself.
3. Be a First Responder to Skill Shortages
Every industry is propped up by a variety of skills, with some skills in higher demand than others.
For example, in the IT industry currently there is a shortage of experienced Business Analysts. Business Analysis can be a really hard role to get into and usually only come about through internal promotion.
Research what roles or skills are in higher demand: News media, government departments, job search sites, recruitment firms and many more sites will give you insights into what kind of roles & skills are in demand in your industry
Identify what skills you would like to acquire: Do an analysis on what kinds of skills you would like to acquire and align this with your strengths and weaknesses. Are you a detail oriented thinker or a big picture thinker? Do you enjoy engaging with people or prefer the tools?
Position yourself: Once you have identified what skills you want to acquire, then continue learning about those skills. Gain qualifications or certifications in those areas and identify your existing transferable skills.
4. Offline Targeted Networking
Don’t network for the sake of networking – align your networking with your career strategy.
Target specific companies, communities and individuals who you can really learn something from. A practical way of doing this while job searching is to create a top 10 employer wish list and identify ways to network with individuals or groups from those companies. You will be surprised at the results you can get; I recently contacted the CEO of a large management consultancy and told him that his company was on the top of my employment wish list; A day later I was invited to meetup with the executive director over coffee.
Aim to build relationships and always come to the table with value that you can contribute.
5. Take advantage of Online/Distance Education
These days you don’t need to stop your full time job and go on campus to get a certificate or a degree. Switch the TV off for a few hours a week and do it on-line in your own time!
Online training and certification costs next to nothing and most major certification authorities are heading into the e-Learning space. Most IT jobs these days require some kind of certification and the higher you climb the ladder the more likely you will need a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
These tips will be individually covered in greater detail over the next few months. You can sign up to our mailing list by clicking on “follow” at the bottom left hand corner of the screen.