If you’re driven and ambitious, you’re no doubt striving to achieve at the highest level in your job in order for your career to progress faster. But are you career self-aware?
The first component to being career self aware is having clarity around what your personality traits are and how they effect your work. It’s important to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself where you are excelling at work and which areas need improving. Your personality and preferences will influence where you are achieving at work. For instance, if you’re a confident type who works in sales then there’ a good chance that making numerous phone calls are a work strength for you.
Acknowledge where your personality traits are contributing to weaknesses at work. Look at your colleagues or people you admire in your industry and ask yourself what traits they have that have helped them to succeed that you can emulate. The great news is that we can improve many of our so called personality traits. For example, if you’re typically forgetful or have a tendency to drift of task? There are a wealth of digital or print schedulers that can be employed to help you. Even traits like empathy can be improved. Self reflection on the person you are and the person you want to be, will be of enormous benefit to you becoming career self-aware.
Being career self-aware also requires that you have perspective on the bigger picture of your industry. For instance, are you aware of the typical time frames and necessary skills it requires for you to reach the next steps in your career?
Research the high achievers of your industry and find out what they did to get where they are. Further training is often required to take your career to the next level. You should be exploring and doing all that you can with regards to up-skilling. For instance, it’s a good idea to attend all the training and development workshops your company offers.
Venture capitalist Garry Tan’s best career advice is “at every job you should either learn or earn. Either is fine. Both is best. But if it’s neither, quit.” This advice rings true. Make sure you check in with where you are at. Ask yourself – Has my work started to stagnate? When was my last significant pay rise? Am I still learning and growing in my job? Do I get enjoyment and satisfaction from what I do?
Evaluation of the market
Finally, fast tracking your career progression requires awareness of your market and what is an appropriate salary expectation for someone at your level.
What are the salaries of similar roles to you within your industry? Which companies tend to offer great career progression? What do you need to do to take your career to the next level?
Recruiters are a great sounding board that you should be utilising, they can help you evaluate where you’re at. It’s a good idea to check in with a recruiter every 6 months or so if you haven’t being progressing in your career. Recruiters can give you a lens to help you asses your career and development. They will be able to give you an idea of what the benchmarks are in your market and what you need to be achieving to secure the salary you want.