How do you Navigate Your Career?
In today’s changing employment landscape, it’s a challenge to ensure career growth, job satisfaction and engagement at work. How do you choose the right direction and navigate your career successfully?
According to HRD, Australian employees are considering moving on from their current roles due to a renewed focus on personal goals and development after experiencing a Covid pandemic epiphany.
A recent McKinsey report revealed that 40% of Australian employees surveyed, were likely to quit their jobs throughout 2022, leaving some organisations scrambling to retain their best people.
And the latest Employee Expectations Report from Workday Peakon Employee Voice includes a strong emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, health, and well-being, as well as ongoing growth and development for job satisfaction.
This stems from a growing realisation among employees about their own limits of working and meeting the demands of a fast-changing world that they believe requires them to run even faster to keep up with the pace of change.
This, in turn, sparks the desire for professionals to look for companies that genuinely care and are focused on employee well-being. But before you target your dream companies, do you know WHAT YOU REALLY WANT?
How to Get Clear on What You Want in Your Career
Let’s discuss what you need to do to get really clear about what you want in your career, what you bring to the table with your tangible accomplishments, and how to develop a strong personal brand within your workplace, and online, to ATTRACT the opportunities in the organisations that complement and encourage your values and aspirations.
To help you, I’ve also created a [free] PDF template to help you identify your tangible accomplishments and craft a compelling ‘About’ section for LinkedIn and your resumé. These exercises will help you to verbalise what you bring to the table and set you on the right track in your career once you gain career clarity. 🌟 You’ll find the link to download this free template at the end of this article. 🌟
If you prefer to listen, episode 227 of Your Career Podcast covers How to Navigate Your Career [click the image below to listen now]
We’ve had an exceptionally challenging few years with the Covid pandemic.
I succumbed recently to COVID after avoiding it for two years. Both my husband and I contracted COVID despite being double vaccinated and boosted. We were both very ill and while we stayed in isolation during our recovery, we enjoyed the gift of time to think.
Lockdowns, the need to quarantine and remain in isolation has meant that many of us have had plenty of time to think about our careers.
Many of my clients during this period have been rethinking their careers too. The key question I’ve been asked is,
“What else can I do?”
If this has been on your mind too, ask yourself a few more questions:
What do I really want in my career?
What makes me happy?
Where do I want to go?
How do I get there?
To help you make some important decisions, read on as I’ll be covering the following:
- Gain the career clarity you need to figure out what really makes you tick.
- Identify the value you bring to your role and,
- Build a strong professional network and online brand for your career success.
In order to gain clarity of purpose please take a little time to consider the following.
TAKE A LIFE INVENTORY
Take stock of your career, your finances, your relationships at home and at work, be honest about what’s happening on the home front, your physical environment, and also your health.
What is making you happy? What isn’t?
When you take stock you’ll identify what’s working for you, what isn’t working and you’ll realise what needs attention and action.
IDENTIFY YOUR TOLERATIONS
What are you tolerating in your life? What are you putting up with?
Are you putting up with bad behaviour from others or yourself?
Putting up with things that don’t work such as situations that don’t work or equipment that needs attention?
Tolerating unfinished business?
Ignoring stuff and pushing it under the carpet?
Tolerating unmet needs or crossed boundaries in your work environment or in your home environment?
Are you tolerating your own behaviour?
Tolerations are important to identify. If you are putting up with stuff that is not acceptable it will drain your energy every single day. When you remove a toleration you’ll find you’ll feel lighter and have more energy to focus on what is really important to you.
IDENTIFY YOUR VALUES
Identify your core values and acknowledge which are being met right now, and which are not met. Have you ever had the niggling little feeling that something is missing in your life? You might not be able to pinpoint what it is because everything should be ‘fine’ but you still feel less than fulfilled. If some of your top values are not met you will never be 100% happy.
Which are the values that are most important to you for your satisfaction?
List the values that drive you and prioritise them. What are your top 3 values that are not-negotiable for personal and professional satisfaction?
Acknowledge the values that are not met in your life. Once you are clear on the values that drive you, you can make values-based decisions.
IDENTIFY YOUR WORK SATISFIERS
Next consider your work satisfiers. What are the elements of a job that are satisfying to you and WHY are they satisfying? Consider the following and how satisfying (or dissatisfying) they are right now:
Your work environment
Your physical environment
The culture at work
The form of employment and the amount of flexibility you are provided
Are you satisfied with your current situation?
ANALYSE YOUR PREFERRED SKILLS
Identify your preferred skills. Identify the work-related skills that you’re highly competent in, may need improvement and also the skills you’d love to learn.
And identify the non work-related skills you may wish to develop purely for personal enjoyment.
Think about how satisfied you are with how much time you’re able to spend using your top preferred skills in your current role. If it’s not enough, can you take action to remedy this?
High enjoyment and high competence is an easy sell when it comes to job applications and job interviews. Highlight those skills in your marketing campaign if you’re job seeking – both in your written communications and verbal communication.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION IN YOUR CAREER AND LIFE?
Now your mission in life. How would you like to be remembered?
Imagine a time towards the end of your life. What do you want to have achieved so you will say you’ve lived your life well?
Acknowledge the things you desire to achieve in your lifetime. Write them down and strategise how you may reach those goals.
I work with my clients to help them create a career and life that is satisfying and rewarding. Send me a message via LinkedIn if you’d like to find out how I can help you, or message me here
For my Step-by-Step Guide to assess what really makes you tick my CAREER CLARITY PACK take you on your journey of self-discovery. Get it here
IDENTIFY THE VALUE YOU BRING TO A ROLE
Next consider your career accomplishments. What have you done that really made a positive difference at work?
I’d like you to consider tangible examples because you may need to self-promote in order to be acknowledged or noticed. Too often my clients tell me they ‘just do their job’ however if they do their job well then there are always accomplishments to celebrate!
Acknowledge your achievements and subtly remind others of what you can do and the positive effect you have had on the business and your work environment. If you want to land the promotion you desire, or be considered as a candidate of choice when job seeking, you must be able to talk about your accomplishments and how you are a solution provider.
Questions you must ask yourself:
In your current or previous roles did you get things done on time and within budget?
Organise something that involved multiple stakeholders?
Identify a problem and solve it?
Streamline a process?
Identify better solution?
Improve a challenging situation?
Demonstrate effective leadership when needed?
Create a strategy or a vision for the future at work?
Receive an award for something?
If you answered, ‘Yes!’ to any of these questions then you’ve got accomplishments! Write them down and analyse them for the tangible benefits of your actions and the multiple skills sets you used, plus the personal traits you displayed to get the job done successfully.
To help you, download my Accomplishment Statement template via the link at the end of this article.
BUILD A STRONG PROFESSIONAL NETWORK AND ONLINE BRAND
According to a JobVite Recruiter Nation Report, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to check candidates. To effectively navigate your career you must expand your professional network and build your brand on LinkedIn.
As I write, LinkedIn has over 810 million members globally and in Australia there are over 12 million members. That’s a huge audience for you to target!
LinkedIn is the perfect platform to create a powerful brand, highlight the solutions you provide as a subject matter expert and expand your professional network.
To attract the attention of the right audience, there are four key elements of your LinkedIn profile:
There is so much more to create a truly powerful LinkedIn profile and make it work for you – however, these are a good start.
YOUR COVER IMAGE
Create a branded cover image so at first glance people know what you bring to the table. As an example have a look at my profile at www.linkedin.com/in/janejackson – you’ll see how I’ve designed my Cover Image to attract my target audience. Use this for inspiration.
YOUR PROFILE PHOTO
Those seeking a suitable candidate want to see your eyes, a nice, warm smile and an accurate reflection of how you really look. This is a professional networking site so look professional!
If you are not sure how your photo is perceived by others, use this useful tool from Photofeeler: www.photofeeler.com
Don’t use the generic ‘job title at company name’ generic headline that LinkedIn offers as the default. You can make your headline so much more effective!
Edit your headline and personalise it. Use the 220 characters LinkedIn allows for this section.
As an example you can check out my headline – I use all the space I’m permitted to tell my story.
You are given 2,600 characters for your ABOUT section. Use them!
Position yourself as the solution to the problems of your potential hiring manager.
Break up the text with enough white space (no-one likes to read huge chunks of text); two or three lines per paragraph is enough. You can use colourful emojis and bullet points to make it easier to read.
Add a call to action at the end of your ABOUT section to prompt readers to contact you to find out more.
Read my ABOUT section to find 3 secret words you must mention when reaching out to connect with me – it’s my way of knowing if connection requests come from people who are genuinely interested in what I have to offer rather than clicking ‘connect’ randomly. AUTHENTIC connection is important to me!
EXPAND YOUR NETWORK AND LEVERAGE LINKEDIN
Here are some helpful suggestions on how you can expand your network and also build your personal brand on LinkedIn. It’s through developing authentic relationships and sharing your thought leadership that LinkedIn will become a powerful tool for you.
Reach out and connect with relevant professionals
Reach out to current and former colleagues, clients and customers, friends and relatives, university or college alumni, professional group members and people in industries of interest to you.
Conduct a keyword search
Seek out heads of department of companies that you might want to target. Reach out with a personalised note explaining why it would be of benefit to connect with you.
Sending a generic request without a personalised note is not good practice. I tend to ignore connection requests I receive without a personalised note or that look like a generic message because I don’t want to simply collect connections on LinkedIn. I like to get to know people through a dialogue first.
Having hundreds of thousands of connections or followers doesn’t mean you they will engage with what you offer or the content you share. Always think quality over quantity.
Build genuine relationships on LinkedIn by getting active and encouraging discussions.
Share your thought leadership, your opinions, and support other people’s posts.
If you want to get in the line of sight of your target audience, be visible with intelligent and supportive comments on their posts that interest you.
Be generous on LinkedIn too. Support others.
Support your organisation and comment on and share their posts too. Employee advocacy is important for every business and will be appreciated.
Create a poll. Share an article. Attach a document or carousel post that you know will be of interest to your target. Be consistent and be active.
To learn how to leverage LinkedIn effectively, my LinkedIn for Career Success Online Program will help.
I hope the above tips will help you to navigate your career successfully. Take the time to get clear on what you want and what really makes you tick, then identify the value you bring to the workplace. Then you can build a strong online brand and professional network for your career success.
Jane Jackson is on a mission to inspire you to gain the clarity and confidence you need to create a career that’s satisfying and rewarding.
Her Career Success Program will help you to take control of your career to create the career you deserve. Find out more at www.janejacksoncoach.com/academy