9 Strategies to Help You Manage Your Career Like a 'Boss'!
For a business to thrive, it’s critical to have a clear vision, a mission and of course a well-developed strategic business plan.
Just ‘winging it’ won’t cut it, and the same applies to our careers.
So, if we want to reach our full career potential and squeeze every drop out of it, then we need to adopt many of the same practices that a business does and that means having a management plan!
Essentially you want to manage your career like a CEO manages a business.
So, what does ‘managing’ our careers even mean and how do we go about this so we can enjoy one that leads to greater satisfaction, fulfilment and success?
I find a lot of people are on auto-pilot when it comes to their career, often because they don’t have a strategy or roadmap on how they’re going to manage it for growth and success.
So, in this article, I’ll share my top 9 strategies and techniques to help you optimise your performance and manage your career like a boss!
STRATEGY #1: ADOPT A BUSINESS MANAGEMENT APPROACH
A CEO is responsible for developing and implementing the company’s strategy and making critical decisions to ensure the business’ growth and profitability.
By treating your career as a business, where you are the CEO, you can make strategic decisions and take real charge of your future. These decisions could include how to manage your professional growth and progression, your goals, how you package and market yourself, how you want to be perceived etc.
So, remember, you are essentially in the ‘business of you’ at the end of the day.
STRATEGY #2: DEFINE WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE TO YOU
Success can look very different from person to person, depending on factors like personal values, career goals, and life circumstances. To achieve optimal career performance, you need to start by defining what success actually looks like to you at this point in your career.
What will you be doing? What level will you be at? What do you want to earn? What would fulfillment look like, and what would contribute to that feeling?
STRATEGY #3: DEFINE YOUR CAREER PATH AND SET YOUR GOALS
Like a business sets it’s short and long-term goals for growth and success, you need to establish your own set of career goals.
Having goals prevents you from drifting or stagnating in your career. It keeps you focused and helps you better manage your resources such as time and energy.
The first step is actually writing down your goals. This is critical. Get those ideas out of your head and onto paper.
The next step is to reverse engineer those goals and break them down into specific activities. This will form your career roadmap or path.
For techniques on taking command and setting your career goals, check out my article, How to Energise Your Career and Stay Motivated as well as this article, 6 Awesome Techniques to Land Your Dream Job
STRATEGY #4: MANAGING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Gone are the days when the person who has the most skills, education and experience scored the job and climbed the ladder.
It’s now the one who has the strongest Personal Brand!
A powerful brand has a compelling message that communicates who you are, what you do, your key areas of expertise and of course, your value.
You also need a visibility plan to grow your presence, not only in your organisation but in the wider industry too.
In today’s extremely competitive job market, strategically creating and managing your Personal Brand is an absolute must!
You want to think of your brand as the secret weapon that can help you stand out, gain that competitive edge and open the door to ATTRACT amazing career opportunities.
STRATEGY #5: MANAGING PERCEPTION
A key strategy in managing your career is managing your Personal Brand and a large part of that is being conscious of the way you are influencing how people perceive you.
A negative perception can hold your career back, whilst a positive one can propel you forward.
Every action you take and every word you say either reinforces or detracts from your Personal Brand.
So, if you want to manage your career for success, then it’s essential to think about the experience you want to create for your audience and how it will influence your behaviour, actions, and language.
STRATEGY #6: MANAGING FEAR AND YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Fear can hinder your career growth, steal your happiness and prevent you from reaching your full potential. Staying in your comfort zone may feel safe, but it stunts advancement. To overcome this, you need to reframe your fear, switching from “I can’t do this” to “I wonder if I can.”
Safely emerging from your comfort zone, starts with curiosity and taking a series of small steps, not always giant leaps.
For example, try something small like connecting with someone on LinkedIn from an organization you’d like to work with.
STRATEGY #7: MANAGING YOUR KPIs
KPI’s and metrics actually form the blue-print for your success, not only in your role, but if you took them a step further, they define a great roadmap for your overall career success.
If you want to plan for success and manage your career like a total boss, then you don’t just want to ‘do’ you role, you want to totally COMMAND it.
To effectively manage your KPIs, you need to understand them inside out, create an action plan with the key activities you need to achieve them, understand your barriers and then develop a strategy to overcome them.
STRATEGY #8: MANAGING YOUR PERFORMANCE REVIEW
You want to think of your performance review as a self-marketing strategy, where you can proudly showcase your success and wins.
With a well-designed set of strategies, you can totally OWN your review and make a powerful impression.
These strategies include preparing for your review months in advance, keeping a record of your achievements, reflecting on what’s working well and what you need to improve on, and track how you’re managing your KPIs.
STRATEGY #9: MANAGING YOUR MINDSET
There’s a direct correlation between your mindset and where you are in your career. That’s right, your attitude can make or break your professional success.
You see, sometimes, to radically shift your situation and position, you need to shift your patterns of behaviour and to shift this, you need to shift your mindset and beliefs.
Ask yourself these two questions:
- Are my current mindset, attitude, and behaviours helping or hindering me towards having a successful career?
- What optimal patterns of behaviour and mindset do I need to adopt to ensure I achieve my goals?
Let’s Wrap it Up…
To achieve a highly rewarding career, one where you feel fulfilled and look forward to Monday’s, it’s essential that you have a Career Management Plan.
Using these 9 strategies, will have a profound effect on how you perceive your career, its progression and success.
So, switch off the auto-pilot and take control. Even if you only use a few of these techniques, you’ll still make leaps and bounds.
In fact, clients of mine who have created and implement a career management plan based on the techniques above, have achieved more in 6 months than they have in the last 5 years.
After all, a dream career doesn’t always just land in your lap. It takes strategy, planning, careful management and a performance mindset.
So, what’s your next move?