Stop Being Boxed-In and Seize the Career You Want

Stop Being Boxed-In and Seize the Career You Want


You know you are capable of so much more. But you have become such a reliable cog in the machinery that it never occurs to your superiors to offer you a promotion. So here are five essential tips and two great exercises from my toolkit to help you gain exposure, communicate your value, and make the shift from ordinary to extraordinary:

#1 Align Your Goals

Identify ways that your desires and talents coincide with the needs of your company. Those bridges and connections are the key to selling your value. Once you’ve done that it is just a matter of convincing your superiors that the most efficient way to reach their organizational benchmarks is to award you the position you want.

#2 Take an Inventory

With help from a trusted coach or mentor, take an objective inventory of what you bring to the table. Then decide exactly where you need to invest for greater leadership development, in order to be fully qualified for the role you want to play. Start working on that now to become the person you want to be in the near future.

#3 Look for Leadership Opportunities

To be perceived as a leader you have to visibly lead by not just executing strategy but personally developing it. Volunteer to head up a special task force, a charity initiative, or an employee group or professional association. Accept the leadership position on your team whenever possible. The more you lead, the more you’ll be seen as ready for greater leadership responsibility.

#4 Diversify Your Vision

To lead a diverse organization you need panoramic vision and experience to match it. Nurture relationships across the organizational grid and beyond your company to others in the industry. Whenever possible, team-up with people outside your immediate realm or circle to learn more about your organization and its people, while acquiring broader experience, new skills, and new strategic partners.

#5 Develop Your Network

Ask for advice or mentoring from senior decision makers, including your own boss as well as people within the HR department and recognized leaders beyond your department. They are the ones who can advocate for your promotion. It will make them look good, too, for identifying your untapped leadership talent and pushing you toward bigger challenges and more valuable productivity.

I definitely faced circumstances at the start of my career that made me feel stymied. Fortunately I was able to transform my exasperation into innovation. That was the advent of the Predictable Promotion System and the catalyst for my rapid career acceleration. What memorable imprint on the industry will be inspired by your example and motivation to play a bigger game? Dwell on that as you begin implementing your plan to become the CEO of your own career destiny!

Predictable Promotion Exercises:

#1 Your Roadmap from Point A to Point Z

Before starting out on the road you need to know exactly where it is you want to go, so I want you to draw your map as the first step of the journey.

Write out a list of your specific career objectives. What are your passions and dreams? What kind of responsibility do you want, where do you want to live, and what kind of legacy do you want to create? The more specific you are the easier it will be for you to aim for and hit your target.

Be sure to include goals that will guarantee a healthy and happy work/life balance, too. Otherwise you may blaze like a comet only to suffer rapid burnout. One of the most desirable forms of career capital in this day and age is work/life balance. So when you think of rewards and income be sure to calculate the value of doing what you love.

#2 Your People Persuasion Plan

To ensure that your roadmap isn’t going to lead you down a dead-end you need to create strategic alliances with key players including mentors, HR decision makers, coaches, and your own direct boss.

  • First make a list of those influential people.
  • Next make a list of people within your own network who know those same people of influence.
  • How do those social networks overlap?
  • If you join a particular online forum, club, association, or charity, for example, will it put you into closer contact with those you need to influence?

Start building your online and offline networks, in other words, in such a way that you will inevitably find yourself in the same room or on the same team with those you hope to influence.

As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.

Illustra Consulting
Copyright © 2014, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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