Large companies sort of rumble along, pushing and pulling employees along the way. Some people are nimble enough to get on top of the steam roller while others get run over and spit out the other side.
We’ve all seen examples of each of these scenarios.
But what most people forget in their career strategy is that their job fate doesn’t rest solely in the hands of the corporate decision makers.
You and you alone have the reins of your destiny, should you choose to take control of them.
I’m not talking non-conformity. I’m talking about being actively engaged and being your own advocate.
And the best part is when you can dovetail helping your current employer while gaining new knowledge and skills, as well as experience.
Hopefully, the company already has a professional development plan in place to help build employee skill sets.
If not, then you need to be your own champion and identify key industry conferences that all of your peers are attending.
Keep in mind that the ROI to your employer is that you are not only gaining knowledge, but boosting your company’s profile and visibility, making valuable connections, forging potentially powerful partnerships, and creating more opportunities.
If you want to take an organized approach, make note of the number of people you meet and create a year-long tracking system. Your tracking system will show how many opportunities came out of those conferences, etc. and what the pull-through (end result) was because of those connections.
Then make a strong business case to your boss as to why you should continue going to this conference.
Want to plug into your company’s culture even more? Then provide recaps of what your biggest takeaways were from that conference and then share with your peers, co-workers, and boss.
Showing value out of the experience can justify the expense, in the mind of the boss, while improving the skill sets of those around you.
Some other things you can do to make your career strategy thrive within a corporate culture is to get on internal committees, volunteer for company-sponsored events, take on stretch assignments, ask to be considered for cross-training opportunities, or step up and offer to take challenging projects.
All of these activities are putting you into an active, engaged role at the company.
But you know what the biggest secret is to advancing your career?
Asking to be promoted.
And many people forget this part.
It’s important to let the key decision makers know, at an appropriate time, that you have career goals within the company, and be specific.
Many times, people get passed over just because they don’t articulate their goals. They end up assuming that their good work stands for itself, and everyone will recognize it for what it is.
But unfortunately, at the end of the day, supervisors usually promote those who make their value to the company front and center, and therefore at the top of the list for advancement considerations.
So your job is to make your career thrive within the corporate culture by making your background more well-rounded and adding to your subject matter expertise, while at the same time, keeping track of what value you deliver to the business.
Then communicate that value to your management team, so they know exactly how indispensable you are!