While many workers are happy to have a job during this tough economy, there are others who feel stuck, dreading the idea of waking up each morning for a job they no longer really want. These workers feel they have hit a wall with nowhere to go. They are afraid to leave their job and unhappy that they seem to be going nowhere at their current place of employment. What they lack is the motivation to move forward with their careers. Depressed by what is going on around them, they have fallen into a trap that claims far too many people each year. It’s nothing that a little makeover can’t cure, but not that type of makeover. It’s time to rebrand your career and, well…vault…over that wall keeping you from achieving success in the workplace.
Develop a plan of action. Where would you like to be? Are you looking to boost your current skill set to find a new job at a new company when the economy rights itself? Or do you actually like where you work and are just unhappy with your current position; hoping a promotion will rekindle the love you once had when you were first hired? Once you figure that out, it’s important to create a set of short and long-term goals to reach your ultimate destination. If you’re conducting a job search, you need to upgrade your skill set to meet the needs of your new prospective employer and then possibly work on making connections with a certain number of people at your desired firm. If you’re looking for a promotion, your first goal might be to meet with your supervisors and map out a plan for advancement. It’s important you get on the right people’s radar.
Step up and stand out. You don’t go far by staying in one place. In order to get a better job, whether it’s a new job or a position at another company, you need to stand out. That means you shouldn’t just meet the goals put forth by your supervisor – you should exceed them. If you are having trouble understanding what that means, identify the employees at your company that seem to get the most praise at work – then emulate or exceed those standards. Developing a good reputation is what will enable you to move forward when the time is right.
Stay on course. If your end-goal is to be in one particular position at your company, don’t take a promotion that will lead you down another path. Make the right moves. Figure out what you need to do and where you need to be in order to achieve your objectives. Take steps to achieve those shorter-term goals that will get you on the right track and don’t let diversions get in your way. One wrong move could deflect you along a different path. You might get lucky and enjoy your new direction, but you might not. Try and stick with your plan.
Own up to your mistakes. There is a reason why you haven’t received a promotion and you’ll never take that next step until you realize why. If you have made mistakes at work, rather than use excuses, own up to them and make sure they never happen again. Fixing your mistakes will not only remove the self-imposed obstacles you have placed in your path, they will also get the attention of your superiors at work. It says a lot about a worker who can identify his or her weaknesses and eliminate them. That’s the type of person who can do the same for the company and help them succeed. That’s the type of worker who gets promoted. It’s also the type of job candidate who can answer the interview question – “What are your weaknesses,” in an effective manner and get the job.
Market yourself properly. A company like Goldman Sachs or McKinsey & Company achieves success because of their name brand. You need to do everything in your power to get noticed, whether it is overhauling your social media page to better reflect your mission; re-design your resume; or even change your appearance into something that can be taken more seriously. When people look at you they need to think “this guy is going places.” Perception is reality and if people perceive you as a mover and shaker, then you will move and shake your way up the ladder or shimmy your way to another company. Either way, you will be a winner.
--Jon Minners, Vault.com