4 steps to supercharging your career this financial year
The new financial year is here, and it's the perfect time to do a stocktake on your career and build a plan to supercharge your progress.
Check your career's fitness
How fit is your career? Have you been cruising for too long, or are you equipped and ready for whatever the future holds?
Workplaces are constantly changing, so too are the skills in demand, which means new categories of jobs are emerging while others are disappearing.
As Salim Ismail, the author of Exponential Organisations said: "Today, if you're not disrupting yourself, someone else is; your fate is to be either the disrupter or the disrupted. There is no middle ground."
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Whilst his comments were referencing organisations, the same concept applies to your career.
The work we provide is a service, and sadly like all services, they can, over time, become obsolete and get replaced by something else - if we don't keep our skillset current and relevant.
Find your learning edge
It's critical, therefore, to know what's valued and to continually update your skills.
This digital and automated world prizes curiosity, creativity, problem solving, initiative, adaptability and EQ. The fastest-growing occupations require higher-level cognitive skills, and 30 to 40 per cent of jobs require explicit social-emotional skills.
Once considered 'soft skills, these emotional and cognitive skills are no longer optional but essential.
Don't wait for someone to tell you what you need to learn or wait for your organisation to develop your skills.
Instead, build your targeted learning plan.
For example, stay abreast of your profession's latest thinking, as well as ideas from complementary disciplines.
Read books on different topics to your day job, for example, books on decision making, change leadership, ethics or technology trends. Or you may undertake micro-credentials or online courses.
Become the leader of your career
Often there is an internal debate between what you 'could do' and what you 'should do'.
The 'could' being something unexpected, challenging, risky or slightly left of centre, while the 'should' is the job people expect you to do or the job your self-belief limits you to.
Breaking away from the 'should' do means you have to walk away from the expectations of others and shift your expectations of yourself.
It starts with ditching any unhelpful internal dialogue that may hold you back, so you become the leader of your career.
Is this decision in line with your values?
What are the assumptions you have about what you can and can't do?
What evidence, if any, do you have to support those assumptions?
Are you holding yourself back because of the expectations of others?
In answering those questions, you will identify the roadblocks and distinguish between healthy and unhealthy self-talk.
You are then better placed to design the steps to take to progress proactively. This approach will include setting goals, developing your career plan and determining how and when you will measure progress.
Build your career advisory board
They also recognise they can't do it alone.
Find the people who will inspire and nurture your career, build a strong stakeholder network where you are known for something, respected, and have a strong network of people willing to speak for you.
You can think of this network as your Career Advisory Board.
It may include, for example, a sponsor, mentor, career coach, advisors, and industry experts.
They will provide advice, share insights, constructively challenge your thinking and actions, and provide connections and ideas.
Make time for you
Today's work environment is stressful, and it's essential to regulate behaviour and manage stress. You can't be at peak performance when you are sleep deprived, stressed or burnt out.
Consequently, you need to set aside 'You Time'.
This is when you do things that are focused on self-care, renewal, fun and connection.
So as the new financial year starts, look ahead and deliberately set aside time for you.
Michelle Gibbings is a workplace expert and the author of three books. Her latest book is 'Bad Boss: What to do if you work for one, manage one or are one'. www.michellegibbings.com.