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A great leader:
- Has confidence in her own abilities and is self aware;
- Knows what she wants from a career, is personally committed and actively works to continuously improve herself;
- Markets herself for opportunities and does not wait for others to open doors for her;
- Builds strong network relationships in and outside the company;
- Acts on constructive feedback.
How to best handle the situation:
Personal career responsibility means accepting that you, and only you, are in charge of your own destiny. Don’t wait for things to happen – make them happen!
Don’t wait for a promotion to land in your lap and for management to offer you a new job on a platter. Don’t expect others to make things happen to you.
Choosing to be a victim of your circumstances makes you lose control over situations that come your way.
Your career is totally your responsibility. It is up to you to do appropriate career planning and to take the necessary steps, i.e. obtaining the education and training that will support your career plans, changing job every 3-5 years and building strong, supportive networks.
“Leaders who succeed take control of their lives. They don’t wait for others to hand them opportunities and they don’t believe they are owed anything. Leaders figure out what kind of glass cutter – or skills – they need to cut through or around their current obstacles.” (Liz Weber)
- Be specific about what you want. Don’t just think: “I want to get ahead”, but figure out exactly what success will look like. What position do you want and when? (Getting specific will help you to stay motivated and makes it easier to see what steps you need to take to reach your goal);
- Once you have a solid and clear idea of the direction you want your life and career to go, it is also important to have a plan to help you excel. Make your personal development plan and make a commitment to yourself to follow it through;
- Your development plan should include the following elements:
- What do I want to achieve six months, three years and five years from now?
- What are my strengths and areas for improvement?
- What do I want to learn and what do I have to learn? (Learning Objectives);
- What do I have to do? (Overview of Learning Actions);
- What support and resources will I need? (i.e. books, regular review meetings with your manager, buddy, coach, etc.);
- How will I measure success? (Key Success Criteria);
- Completion date;
- Self-promotion: one of the keys to success is your ability to let others know who you are, what you have to offer and how you can make a difference in their organization. Think of yourself like a brand in the way you behave and in the way you present yourself and don’t be afraid to speak up; put your hand up and put yourself forward;
- Pursue a sponsor within your organization to help advance your career. Have him/her challenge your thinking and assign projects that force you out of your comfort zone;
- Unless the responsibilities within a job change significantly, change job every three to five years;
- Moving side ways will expand your skills set and business understanding; as such it broadens and deepens your experience;
- Get as much education and training as you can. Obstacles like lack of money and time should not hold you back anymore with the many new virtual learning tools in place. (Look at the Fembition section for some interesting learning opportunities);
- Regularly review the publications of futurologists to stay abreast of future thinking about the (mega)-trends that are impacting society. Participate in at least one event per year where you are provoked by ideas from individuals with an unusual view on the world;
- Join a LinkedIn group and other external networks of professionals to discuss issues in your field;
- Make reading a daily habit. Research has shown that reading keeps leaders smart, creative and social. For those who want to lead, reading is not a nice to have; reading is a habit that successful leaders consider critical to their success. Leaders are readers!
- Are you passionate about your life and work? What are the changes you have to make in order to bring out your best?
- What are you doing daily to ensure your growth and development continues as a leader?
We welcome your thoughts, experiences and comments on how you would deal with such a situation.