January. Time to harness the usual start-again-energy and take stock, look ahead and assess your next career move.
Time to become upwardly mobile and give yourself a leg up on the career ladder. With more layoffs, the continuing intrusion of tech and re-organizing org structures, ask yourself - am I…
…happy and fulfilled in my current role? (and if so - bask in that and keep a light eye on the market, just in case)
…in love with my company but I’m ready to step up internally?
…ready to explore another business?
The Two Faces of January
If you’re looking to take the next step in your career right now, there’s good news:
Hiring managers are working to new budgets and targets in January and need the team to do it
Shifts in job descriptions towards being more data-lead can trigger new opportunities that are attuned to your skillset
January sees a spike in resignations, so a lot of companies have openings to fill.
So whether you want to ascend inside your existing company or spread your wings - there are plenty of opportunities for both. We have the Good Soul Tools you’ll need to make moves that get you ahead.
The Big 5 Soft Skills
Being smart is one thing. Being an aware, collaborative and supportive team member is another - with data that supports you getting hired quicker, promoted more often and earning better salaries and here’s La Trobe University’s take on why.
Being able to tell stories isn’t just for marketers looking to sell products. You are also a product and it’s your raison d’etre to tell your story to attract your next chapter. You must build relationships, make an impact, as well as help reinforce a sense of identity and encourage personal growth.
It goes without saying that jobs are a people business and especially amidst hybrid times where workplaces are distributed, strong communication skills are a must. In case you missed the memo here’s a useful reminder.
You must be across what matters in your role to effectively shift the needle. We are in data-driven times - and this falls to analytics. Financial reporting and budgeting, competitor analysis, customer insight, campaign testing and building key performance indicators – even drawing up staff rotas or holiday plans involve analysis.
Responding to existing data in new and innovative ways that drive the business forward is crucial in business today. You are called to form fresh opinions based on the real-time inputs, question data, solve challenges at their root, adopt evolving technologies, filter out ‘fake news’ and double down on the levers that matter for those you serve.
The 4 High-Octane Attitudes
In addition to soft skills, there are attitudes you need as fuel to boost your upwards career journey.
Growth mindset – Business is all about growth. It’s about adjusting to the times and answering the questions of the day. There is a difference between holding onto your principles and being fixed in your mindset. A fixed mindset holds you in place, unable to fathom new solutions to old problems. Look to 2023 as a new reality formed by the shifting market forces and social trends of the times. Seek the possibilities in every situation. Chase new personal growth opportunities. Lift your game - on last year.
Adaptability – Having the resources to cope with changing work and working conditions is vital if you want to advance. Adaptability skills also show employers you can cope with unforeseen circumstances, learn new things or rightsize resources in response to economically dynamic times. You need to be agile and able to navigate challenges and deliver elegant solutions in the face of timelines and deadlines.
Cultural intelligence and diversity consciousness – The ability to recognize and adapt to cultural differences – and adjust behavior to accommodate different opinions and perceptions – has never been more important. Actively learning, contributing to broader projects that you would normally participate in and seeking more voices in what you do will expand your ability to operate in a broader realm.
Can Do Gene - Business is about solving problems. That’s it. Staffers that ferociously go after that by amassing all the intel and skills of today and point them in the direction of a solution - will win today.
The 3 Absolute Must Dos
Most of us want to move up and on. But are you really ready for it? Do you have the hard skills needed? A rockstar salesperson doesn’t necessarily step into being the best Head of Sales. The role requires a track record of making money, finding solutions to market challenges and taking aligned and happy teams with you.
Make sure you have what it takes. And be honest with yourself. Do a tough self-audit. Take a strengths and competencies test. Garner feedback from those you report to, fellow colleagues and advisors. If that means learning the skills needed at the next level, then so be it. Find the gaps, take on the training and get guidance from those who are there already.
Of course no-one is perfect and you may be successfully appointed to a role where you have gaps, but not planning to address these in a ‘kick and hope’ strategy isn’t a great tactic in these competitive times.
If within your new direction, lies fulfilment - don’t shy away from a sideways move or downward trajectory if in the long term it makes your soul sing. An example may be taking on a project management role to bolster your understanding and management of contingent processes.
Take on challenging projects
Most premium roles expect you to execute on strategy, budget and people. Are these within your super-powers? Or, do you need more experience or training?
If projects are getting easy and you can do things with your eyes closed, it’s time to challenge yourself. Don’t stagnate if you ever want to move up. Take on something that scares you.
Put your hand up and take on projects/tasks that will grow your skills, knowledge, and confidence – and if they allow you to showcase your abilities, even better. Stretching yourself and your skills also allows you to make an impact. It shows you’re a valuable asset and willing to learn.
Develop relationships with mentors
Having a mentor may not directly lead to a promotion (although in our experience ‘Good Souls know Sood Souls’), but it helps you in many ways. When you develop relationships with those who have ‘been there and done it’ – whether it’s senior colleagues or mentors – you access their knowledge and experience, learn from their mistakes and homeruns. Create a network of people who can help you out in different situations and provide support as you navigate your career.
When you are faced with a big decision or a challenge at work, you can turn to your network for advice and support. They are a terrific sounding board as you are vet new opportunities, sharpen your negotiating tactics and give you buoyancy in tough times.
Building relationships takes time, but the effort can have lifelong career benefits.
Want to explore your options on moving up? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Unsplash.com/Ibrahim Rifath