ABCs of Your Career Journey – E is for Evolving

Hiring managers are not looking for same old, same old.  A candidate can be in their role for a long time, however, if they have not increased their level of responsibility and/or expanded their duties, they will not be viewed favorably.  This is not just about knowing the latest software or a new regulation or an advanced process but instead it is about the person holistically.  Companies that are hiring today want people who have a desire to learn, to grow, and to challenge themselves.  If not, the company may become stagnant and lose out to their more progressive competitors.

As an example, only roughly 10% of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 exist today.  They either have shut down, sold, merged, or split up.  Many would argue that this has to do with technology but that is only part of the story.  Some of these companies became so bureaucratic with their managers and executives sitting comfy in their glass offices that they were not in touch with what was truly happening in the marketplace.  In addition, they were still utilizing antiquated processes, procedures, and systems in order to “save money” but it actually resulted in not being able to respond to customer demands in a timely way, etc.

So how does one evolve and not become obsolete?  First you have to do a personal assessment.  Answer these questions –

  • What are my values?
  • What skills do I possess?
  • What attributes do others admire about me?
  • What areas do I struggle – both personally and professionally?
  • How do I describe myself?
  • What stresses me out?
  • How do I irritate others?
  • What are my good and bad habits?

After you have taken the time to really evaluate yourself then you need to answer this question –

  • If money, time, and other things were not an issue, what is your greatest wish?

There are a lot of ways to answer this question but if it is important to you then you need to take action NOW.  Figure out all the components of the goal and then break it down into smaller chunks.  One wish may be to write a book. To do that, you need to determine how many words/pages a day you will write.  Discipline is hard but that is what makes some succeed and others fail.

Keep in mind that the ones who set goals and achieve them have a greater sense of fulfillment.  Even if the goal is a personal one, that sense of accomplishment can flow into the workplace too.  Just knowing that you can take on a new challenge and succeed can boost your confidence and drive.  It may give you that desire to take on a bigger project at work or take the leap into a new role in a different industry or functional area.

Lastly think back five years ago.  Are you happier today or back then?  What has changed?  If life is better now, is it due to external forces or changes you made in your life?  If it is worse, figure out one small thing you can do within the next 20 minutes that propel you forward to having the life and career you so desire.