4 Steps to Propel your Corporate Career Forward

January 26, 2006

1. Chart Your Course

Before you can really take control of your career, you need to devote some time to getting yourself organized. This type of organization goes beyond traditional steps like setting up a filing system; this is transforming your life instead of just your desk. Your efforts to move your career forward will be useless if you don’t know where you’re going, so you should begin by developing a clear idea of where you would like your career to
go. Next, you want to create some goals to help you get there.
These first two organizational steps give you a basic plan. Once this plan is in place, you can start breaking things down into manageable steps and concrete tasks.  After these components are in place, you have everything you need to organize your time for
maximum efficiency.

Having a plan to execute can make a huge difference in how effective you are in your position.  As you begin to implement this plan you will develop momentum and find yourself accomplishing a surprising amount.  Having a well-defined outcome is the surest way for you to really put your career on the fast track to start making more money and fulfilling your professional dreams. Finally, having a plan gives you a concrete roadmap to
follow and means you won’t waste time and energy wondering what to do next, you’ll always know your next logical step.

2. Master Your Environment

To be truly successful you have to have an in-depth understanding of the company you work for.  A good first step towards really developing a comprehensive view of your company is to recognize your value to the organization.  From that starting point you can go on to understand the value of all of the other parts of the organization.  Another critical step in mastering your environment is figuring out all of the unwritten rules that are present in your organization.  One very helpful way to both determine your value and learn the unwritten rules is to seek out mentors with different perspectives.

Once you’re truly aware of how your employer really operates, you’ll know what it will take to put your plan into action.  By understanding the forces that make things happen in your environment, you will have much more control over how you spend your time.  By having a clear view of how your company works, you will know exactly what to do to keep your job safe in the lean times and position yourself for promotions in the good times.

3. Connect With Others

It’s not enough to fully understand the corporate environment and your place within it; you also need to be able to take advantage of this information through effective communication.   It is vital for you to be able to express yourself in a variety of
contexts and to a wide range of people.  Once others understand what you are doing and why you are doing it that way, you need to take the further step of marketing yourself effectively so that you get maximum recognition.

With polished communication skills at your disposal, you will be able to execute your plan much faster than you would expect. Through good communication you can earn the trust and respect of others and more easily get their cooperation.  In fact, it is possible to develop your communication skills to the point where you can control just about every interaction you have during your work day.  The benefits don’t end when you leave the building at the end of the day; when you extend these skills to a robust professional network outside of your organization you’ll also have access to many additional people’s expertise.

4. Make Breakthroughs Happen

In order to make major contributions to any organization, it is necessary to be truly innovative.  You can develop these skills by learning to look at problems and pursue solutions in new ways. You also need to learn to help your colleagues think in different
ways.  The only way to get the rewards and recognition that you want is by making truly original contributions.

Once you have developed the ability to be innovative you will not only be in a position to make really big contributions to your company, but you will also be more creative in finding a way to execute your plan. Coming up with and developing inventive  approaches to the issues that your company is facing is the quickest way to be respected and admired by everyone you work with.  Your impact becomes further magnified by being able to effectively sell your ideas to others in your company by using your finely honed communication skills.

Gary Lavine, PhD – owner, http://www.thesuccessfulscientist.com   How This Scientist discovered Strategies to take his career to the next level. Receive science career advice from someone who has been there. Dedicated to helping scientists find new ways of approaching there old problems. Learn to organize, innovate and communicate in bold new ways to boost your career.


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