• Gustavo Serbia

17 In 2017. Actions & Behaviors To Help You Own Your Career in 2017.

As 2016 comes to an end, and you prepare your list of resolutions, I am hoping you are including owning your career as part of what you want to accomplish in 2017.

Considering that the average person spends microscopic time in formal career planning per year (about 1.2 days per year), yet it is at work we spend most of our daily lives, owning your career should not be a desire, but a requirement. Hopefully, this list of behaviors and actions will help you become the CEO of your career in 2017.

I suggest you print this list and place it next to your bed and in your office or cubicle as a reminder throughout the year.

  1. Raise your head and start looking around. Become more engaged in what’s happening all around you, inside and outside, your role, department, function, company, industry, city, state, and country.

  2. Embrace technology. Stop seeing it as a hurdle. See it as a way of life. It is here to stay and will continue to grow.

  3. Market/Sell yourself: don’t wait for a tap on the shoulder, as it may never come. Let others know who you are and what you have to offer.

  4. Build a career plan. Put a plan that covers your career goals, what you need to learn, by when, how, where, etc. A plan helps put structure around what you want to accomplish. However, don’t confuse having a plan with being rigid. Remain flexible, in case things change. Chances are they will.

  5. What got you here won’t get you there. This means that the qualifications and behaviors you demonstrated that got you to where you are today, likely will not be the ones that will get you to your next role or position. Perhaps, those may even hinder you. Expand, enhance, and improve. Continuously.

  6. Stop saying you are a hard worker and focus on delivering results. If you believe you are a hard worker (and I am yet to find someone who does not), you must define it from the perspective of your employer and manager, not just yours. Delivering results mean you are going beyond tasks or "to-do lists" to solve business problems that benefit the organization.

  7. Be confident: you must believe in yourself; otherwise, it will be hard for you to convince others of what you are capable.

  8. Don't wait to demonstrate what you are capable of "if given a chance." The opportunity may not come, so you have to demonstrate it now, not later.

  9. Be curious: ask more “why,” seek to understand, observe more, and talk less. Consider alternative ways of doing the work, of connecting with people, of approaching problems.

  10. Take initiative. If your boss is not handing you assignments, you should worry. If you are given assignments, meet the deadlines and provide updates before being asked. If you are asked once, take it as a warning. If you are asked twice, ensure you are not asked a third time. If you are asked a third time, don’t be surprised if you do not get promoted, get a poor review, or even get fired.

  11. Become a self-directed learner to enhance or acquire new transferable (soft) skills. Don’t wait for your manager, your company or others to tell you what you need. Don't wait for the review. Find out what is required, why is required, and get it.

  12. Fight the tendencies that may be holding you back: seeking comfort and laziness, fear of failure, complaining about the lack of resources, allowing emotions to dictate how you react or behave in situations you cannot control and blaming others for what you cannot achieve.

  13. Stop saying you are too busy. It is not a valid reason and doesn’t make you look good. If you are not busy, your employer may not need you. If you are too busy, review how you go about getting the work done; perhaps you need to make adjustments.

  14. Stop saying I don’t know. If you don’t know, find out. If you cannot find out, find someone who can.

  15. If you are not a millennial, know that millennials are here to stay. So, stop criticizing them and start helping them. You and your organization will need them.

  16. If you are a millennial, understand the other generations and how they work. Do not shy away from the challenges you face. Be patience, push through obstacles, and you will reap the rewards.

  17. Understand the difference between a manager and a leader. A manager focuses on systems and processes, looking to maximize these to achieve results. A leader focuses on people, seeking to provide the right environment to maximize the talent available. Which one do you want to be?

Happy New Year!

Your journey, your career. Own it.

"The most important instrument to career development, growth, and success is you. Therefore, you must work to stretch beyond your comfort zone, fine tune what you have to offer, and must do so continuously." - Gustavo Serbia

I work in human resources at Crescent Hotels & Resorts. I also started Stretch the String, dedicated to career development, human resources, management, and leadership. For more on my content follow me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or at stretchthestring.com. I will respond to your comments and feedback.

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