Careers used to move themselves. Now, we are responsible for moving our careers in the direction we want them to go. But there are some fundamental tools that can help with the pace of your business career.
People want things to happen quickly — immediate gratification — and it just doesn’t work that way. We all have to meander towards fulfillment, learning and advancement.
Success compounds over time through experience, accomplishment and circumstance. Sometimes its vertical, lateral, sideways and backwards.
While Henry Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five time before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
Winston Churchill, the Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.
Just about everybody knows who Jerry Seinfeld is, but the first time the young comedian walked on stage at a comedy club, he looked out at the audience, froze and was eventually jeered and booed off of the stage. Seinfeld knew he could do it, so he went back the next night, completed his set to laughter and applause, and the rest is history.
Ellen Degeneres was a paralegal and “oyster shucker.” Before being named Showtime’s Funniest Person in America in 1982, comedian and TV host Ellen Degeneres held these two much less glamorous jobs.
Ask yourself where you want your business career to go? What’s your plan for moving it in that direction? Do you see how progression prepares you for each step in your success process?
You simply can’t go into the career and work world and progress without a map, GPS and a compass. Steady movement toward our goals is advancement. Sometimes we slow down, speed up, veer to the right or take a wrong turn. That’s actually an important part of the journey. It’s never a straight line.
Patience and persistence are our greatest allies in the progression of our business career advancement. Nothing worth having happens overnight, and nothing lasts unless we are prepared for it to last. We often think we are ready for things to happen, then things are put in our path and they don’t develop. These learning moments are gifts.
Are you looking for a new job or to change careers? Are you thinking about starting a business? Are you hoping for that promotion soon?
There is a progression to career advancement, so be patient.
Career Advancement Starts with a Solid Idea
Do you know what you really want to do, what you are good at, what gets you excited and what you believe in? Start where you are. Get some coaching. Take a career assessment. That can help to point you in the right direction.
Career Advancement Continues with a Clear Plan
Create a blueprint for the actions, tasks, activities necessary to execute your idea. It’s your career business plan! My colleagues over at Careerealism have some great articles and resources to help you with your career plan.
Career Advancement Unfolds Because of Preparation
More people are ending up to be less qualified due to the rapid increase in web, technology and social media skills needed for jobs today. Make sure you are ready to have the job you want by having the skills and certifications it requires. Here are 17 Foundation Job Skills (PDF) for the 21st century. Self assessment, evaluation, research and clarity are a must.
Career Advancement Always Follows a Process
Process gives us discipline, steps, guideposts and boundaries. The most successful people, businesses and professions all follow a steady process. This is your map, GPS, your compass for executing your daily actions and tasks. How we do things matters.
Career Advancement is Impacted by Timing
Expect things to happen, and they will, but not always in our time frame. That’s why preparation is so critical. Preparing ourselves for things to happen and being as ready as we can saves us valuable time. Upgrade and refine your skills consistently.
Career Advancement Benefits from Consistent Assessment
Assessment is a critical tool for advancement. Always be reviewing, taking inventory, evaluating what is working and what is not. Don’t waste time with and on things that have proven not to produce or work. Be willing to change course and try other things.
Career Advancement Should be Enjoyable Because We Make it Fun
The joy truly is in the journey. Regardless of our smooth or challenging cycles, we can choose to find the lesson, meaning and humor in all our experiences.
I don’t necessarily believe success is lucky, as some sayings go, but I do believe that preparation plus timing bring us opportunities to grow and succeed.
Be patient with the progression of your career. Keep moving it in the direction you want it to go.
Make your plan, work your plan, position yourself, but mostly be willing and open to the plan changing and the unexpected bringing you some of your greatest outcomes.
Field Photo via Shutterstock