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Steps to Become Proactive in Your Career

Steps to Become Proactive in Your Career

With most jobs becoming more specialized, the willingness to continue to learn can be a valuable asset to those who take a proactive stance when it comes to their careers. Lynn Taylor, author and workplace consultant, points out that continuing education, initiative and people skills are factors that can help you reach your career goals.

Plan a Strategy

Plan what your next step will be. Ask yourself where you want to be one year, five years and 10 years from now. Develop both short-term and long-term career goals that will utilize your skills and experience. Choose actions that demonstrate your value as a professional. Challenge yourself, putting energy and enthusiasm into what you do. Maintain a positive mindset, and focus on potential opportunities. Don't hesitate to take chances.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Identify a primary area of weakness. Ask someone who has skill and expertise in the field to act as your mentor. Learn what mistakes not to make again, and then move on. Focus on what you are good at, and don't dwell on those things you can't change. It may help to keep a day-to-day journal of your job activities noting any setbacks and how you resolved the problems. Jot down a few thoughts about what you learned from these experiences and then periodically review the entries.

Utilize Networking

Networking is essential as who you know really can make a difference as you work toward advancing in your career. Involve yourself in activities within your work industry as well as in the community in which you reside. This offers you an opportunity to meet new people and network with others. When on the job, interact with staff in other departments. Share ideas and collaborate on coming up with solutions to problems that affect the company or organization as a whole.

Another way to network is to collect testimonials from those familiar with your work. Use them as professional references. Testimonials are proof of your expertise, a way to get positive feedback and a valuable tool for strengthening your network of contacts.

Market Yourself

Show others what you can do. Be your number one promoter. The more diverse your talents and skills, the greater your marketability. Increase your credibility and uniqueness by establishing yourself as an expert.
Prove to your current employer why you are a good return on its investment. Explain how you have saved or made the company money. Give specific examples of how you helped the company or organization meet its goals. Richard Laermer, best-selling author and CEO of RLM PR, recommends talking in numbers and percents when you highlight your accomplishments.

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