HOW TO BE CEO OF YOUR CAREER
The clamor for being your own boss has become louder in recent times. However, if you think deeply, not everyone is called to be a business owner. Some have the grit for entrepreneurship while others are great amplifiers and builders. Whatever category you pitch your tent, you will agree with me that a very important skill is having an entrepreneurial mindset as well as strong communication skills even if you are not in a client-facing position.
As an employee, creating a path for your career is very important and your ability to articulate the value you bring irrespective of your position makes you a candidate for leadership and will hasten your career progression because you spend the greater part of your adult life at work so you might as well make it a pleasing place to go to especially on Monday mornings.
Have a Plan
The art of planning your career is a deliberate effort on your part to map out how you see yourself in the bigger picture of what you are currently doing. We often get such questions during interview sessions “where do you see yourself in the next 5 years”. Now critically answer that question and be honest with yourself. Don’t wait to sit in front of a recruitment panel before you tackle that question.
And a Back Up Plan B
Just like your GPS reroutes you when you miss a turn and still brings you to your destination. Perform a risk assessment analysis of your plan A. Answer all the “what Ifs” You don’t get into your dream organization? Can you still perform your role in a different sector? What went wrong in plan A; 5 years in an unpleasant career and looking to switch? What am I willing to do to make the switch?
Be specific about your goals
What drives you? What is your motivation for success? How would you scale your career path many years down the line? This will help you set your goals to achieve the success that you seek. Is it about self-recognition in your field or impact? Or even both. Or are you there for the money then after a few years you can take the plunge into entrepreneurship? Don’t be afraid to set goals. No goal is insignificant so long as it matters to you.
Learn transferable skills
The emergence of robotic science and technology in our lives has brought ease and speed, at the same time, it has also eliminated the need for a massive workforce. With software and applications that can perform business analysis, accounting and the likes, Job openings are shrinking and the emphasis is on professionals who can double on specialist work with multifaceted transferable skills. 20 years ago, who would have thought that blue-chip companies would create a role for a Digital Marketing Manager. Now, employers even expect a Marketing Manager to have a clear understanding and even experience in Digital Marketing.
At your workplace, look for ways to apply skills apart from your core competence. You might even discover that you have other skills that can be harnessed.
Expand your Network
Someone once said “Your Network is your Net worth”! It is not surprising that a lot of job openings are filled even before the vacancies are publicized. Attend conferences, trade events and business driven networks. People can easily recommend an industry colleague for job openings around them and recruiters have even found it as a more effective way of head hunting. The more people who know what you do, the more they are likely to recommend you when opportunities that fit your description come up.