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Grow Your Career

My inability to deal with confrontation well and my lack of confidence make arguing why I deserve more when it comes to career progression something that scares the living s*&t out of me. Does anybody else feel this way?

I’ve told myself time and time again that my work will prove itself and that if I keep my head down and work hard that I will make progress and that’s true, I will. But, doing it this way may extend my time spent in one spot, by just keeping to myself I could actually be hindering my growth. Why is this? Because by not getting out there nobody will know who I am. The people who decide promotions, salary increases who goes to what job… they will have no idea who I am and there for why would they care how quickly my career accelerates. I’d just be the bottom of the barrel in a job pool of people that all want the same thing. So how do I make myself stand out?

First off, I know what I want. I’m specific about my goals and how long I think it should take for me to reach them. Keep in mind, this is different for everyone and it should be a collaborative discussion between you and your supervisor to make sure you’re both on the same page. Be realistic about your goals and skill. Go after what you want and keep in check with the goals you set. Say you get this awesome job and you think to get to the next step it should take you about 5 years but then that 5 years roles around and nothing. Nobody says boo, nobody is hinting around you reaching the step. Reach out, talk to your supervisor, your HR department, whoever it may be and check in on the goals you set. Are you missing something? Did it slip their mind? Put your goals at the forefront of their minds and let them know why you deserve it.

Secondly, talk about why you deserve what you want and what you’re doing for the company. Nobody cares what you’ve gained until you put in the perspective of how your skills and knowledge are helping grow the company. It’s all about presenting yourself as the valuable employee you are. It’s good to check in to make sure you’re on the right path from time to time. In large companies it can be easy to get looked over, so don’t be afraid to be vocal about your accomplishments.

Thirdly, loyalty is great and beneficial for both you and the company but there are always other options. Sometimes when you’re working in one role for a long time you get really good at one thing. You become an expert level person at just one thing. Which is amazing, congrats! You’ve managed to get to know the ins and outs of whatever your doing but not diversifying yourself could also hurt down the road. If you find yourself not getting where you want to be in your company sit down and think about your options. I always recommend seeing what can be done within the company you’re currently working for. Sometimes it’s as simple as a conversation on where they see your career going and what your expectations are. If you can’t see eye to eye with your employer after talking to them there’s always an option to start looking around. The beauty of a competitive market is there are a lot of options. The downside, construction has that small town effect, everyone knows everyone, so be strategic with your plans and don’t feel the need to bash your previous employers if you choose another opportunity.

Be specific and realistic about your goals, talk about how your accomplishments and skills are beneficial to the company and fight for what your believe in. You’re in charge of where you go and what you want. So go get it.

Thanks for reading,

Laura H. W.I.S.T.

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