John and Sally worked in the same company at the same position.
John loved interacting with his team, had a friendly rapport with his manager, took initiatives and rarely missed any deadline. Over the course of 12 months, John got sponsored to a promotion by his manager, worked his way up at two more companies and finally settled for a managerial position at the age of 28.
In the meantime, Sally kept working in the same capacity, purposefully following her 9 to 5 schedule. She kept herself busy with her work throughout the day, which she was undoubtedly good at, had little or no interaction whatsoever, religiously followed her 9 to 5 daily schedule and rarely went for a team outing. She did earn several good raises and performance reviews, but that’s about the extent of her professional growth.
The reason why John turned out to be a winner in this race? His focus went past “survival” in the workforce to deliberate pursuit of success; he was always thinking about the next level.
Here are six ways you can take your early career to the next level, quickly:
Have a Blueprint Ready
Instead of bouncing off like a ping-pong ball from one place to another, you must have a plan ready, some sort of roadmap that has a clearly marked starting point, the final destination where you want to see yourself, and the major milestones along the way. The blueprint surely will require some minor adjustments along the way, but the important thing is to implement the plan early on in your career.
What’s the Definition of Ultimate Success for You?
What drives you to work? Who are your ideals? How do you measure success? What all worldly comforts would you like to enjoy in your life? What kind of future have you envisaged for yourself or your family? All these questions will provide a clear vision of the ideal life scenario, which will serve the purpose of a guiding light. The clearer you are about your dreams and goals, the easier it will be for you to follow them and work your way there.
Mentors Move Over; It’s Sponsors that You Need
Most of us are working in a corporate environment where the key to success often lies with someone to whom we report on daily basis. Many consider mentors will do the job. However, mentors might offer you a foot in the door, but to get past that you actually require a sponsor.
A sponsor can be your boss, or your boss’s boss. She is someone who has conviction in your abilities, is willing to champion your cause in front of his seniors and has a significant voice at the table. If you are an entrepreneur, an investor or a venture capitalist will serve the purpose of a sponsor who helps to make new connections and raise money for your venture.
However, sponsorship isn’t something that you can leave in the hands of fate or luck. Whether it is through exceeding expectations through stellar performance time and again, or demonstrating that you are a trustworthy and loyal protégé; you have to earn sponsorship.
Build a Network
Having a good network is of supreme importance and can help you to get entry where you wouldn’t have the opportunity under normal circumstances. The rule of thumb in professional world is, the more people you know the better. Therefore, networking doesn’t stop once you have got the job.
Reach out to an audience as large as you can and try and maintain a meaningful relationship with them. With new age online technologies like social media and social networks, this particular task has become even easier.
Be a Next Gen Warrior
Adaptability is the key to survival. With the passage of time, it is essential for everyone to remain aware of the current technologies and implement them as and when required in order to stay relevant. The ability to fully leverage the new age tools and technologies in your favor can make all the difference.
If you want to fast-track your career, you – like John – must consistently focus on success. Don’t just put in the time… do your job so well people can’t help but notice your talent and potential!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Under30CEO!
About the Author: Saurabh Tyagi took to writing at a tender age of ten, when he submitted his first essay for the school magazine. Although an engineer by qualification, he has kept his creative flame alive and still writes and guest blogs for online education websites on various career and education related topics.