You’re Here, Now What?
Congratulations, you’ve made it! You made it this far in your career and life, and you’ve accomplished a lot! Now what? In life and careers, it isn’t about what you might have done for me lately. Nope. It’s all about what are you doing for me right now, and what you will do for me tomorrow! The world doesn’t stop when you get to the next level or complete a project with amazing results. You have to keep learning and growing, or you’re going to get left behind. You work hard, doesn’t it make sense to put that hard work towards continued improvement? Let’s look at a few things you can do to make sure you don’t get stuck, and your hard work will continue to be appreciated.
Future Based Thinking
You can’t live in the past. Your past accomplishments are important, but they shouldn’t define who you are. Often, in work and life, people rely on past successes to justify their existence. It might be the jock still living in his high school glory days, or the manager at work that ran a successful project and hasn’t been able to replicate the success. These people are living in the past. To continue moving forward, you have to continue to look for your next accomplishment. Your past should be there to give you confidence, but it will only get you to the place you are right now. When you’re stuck in the past and someone comes along and starts driving changes that make the company successful, you may find yourself out of a job. Then what?
Learn New Skills
Athletes are always looking to learn new skills. Professional golfers of today hit the ball farther than ever before. Professional runners are running faster, and swimmers swim faster. How is this possible? There is a continuous quest for improving and reinventing their skills. The mechanics of a swimming strokes today, are different that they were 20 years ago. The same can be said for the way all athletes train today. In order to remain competitive and perform at higher and higher levels, athletes must learn new skills and strategies. The goal has changed, and they must change with it. The same thing happens in your career. When you continue to do your job the way you did 20 years ago, you will not see any change in your results. When someone comes along with a newer, better, faster way to do your job, you’ll soon find yourself unemployed. Then what?
Train Your Replacement
I have met people that believed if they were the only one in the company that could do a certain job, they were secure. This is faulty thinking. Even if the job is secure for your entire career, it doesn’t provide any chance for growth and improvement. If you are the only person in your company that can do your job, you’ll be doing that job for the rest of your career. You might become ultra proficient in that job, but eventually there won’t be any growth left to achieve. In order to have mobility, which means growth and increased value, there has to be someone that can replace you. Although it may seem counterintuitive, you should think about who could stand in for you, and what they need to take your place. If your company cannot find someone to do what you do, and your job is necessary, then it is to their advantage to keep you in your current job. What happens when the job is no longer required? What happens when someone else figures out how to do your job, and something else in the same amount of time? You can find yourself without a job. Then what?
This Week’s Challenge
This week’s challenge is to begin looking at your next step. What is the next big accomplishment you can have in your career? What skills do you need to perform at the next level? Who will fill your role so you can move up? Identify these things, so you know your next step, and how to prepare for the promotion.
Are you Serious About Preparing for The Next Step?
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Quote of the Week
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
– C. S. Lewis