Friday, November 22, 2013

What's next?

Over the last few months I've been thinking about what's next for me at work, and having some conversations with Senior Executives along the way. I work in a great organization where people are generous enough to share their insights and lend support.

Some were frank and shared info about their own journeys. It was comforting to know that several, even the most successful, didn't have a plan when they started their careers.

Advice that lingers, whether applied to my current position or the 'next'...
  • Don't panic! Focus on what you are passionate about and what you enjoy... 
  • What gets you out of bed in the morning?
  • Be authentic. Don't try to be someone else.
  • Let people know you are looking, and what you are looking for.
  • Look for where you are able to add value.
  • Use your network. And remember your network has a network.
  • It can take up to two years to make a move... and the more senior you are in an organization, often the longer it will take.
  • Are you willing to make a lateral move? Are you willing to take a step 'down' to gain exposure or get your foot in the door? Moving up isn't always the only direction.
  • I went on many job interviews before I landed this latest, and prefer this one... so not being successful (in a competition) isn't necessarily a bad thing. It takes time to find the right position.
  • Who you work for is almost as important as what you do. Maybe even more important.
  • Try to focus on a specific area/stream and if you are serious about pursuing it, identify gaps in your skill set and address them.
  • Be strategic about references, let people know what you are applying for and what you need to highlight.
  • Don't be afraid to make cold calls, even if a position isn't advertised.
  • Ask and be open to feedback, but remember you don't necessarily need to agree.

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