What’s Your Career Plan For 2012? And how to make it happen…

What is your career plan for 2012?

What do you want to accomplish?

Where do you want be in January 2013?

The biggest career mistake that individuals make is that they don’t think career advancement is their responsibility. If you want to advance your career you need actively work to reach your goals.

Advancing your own career does not appeal to some people as they think of the obnoxious boss’s-bum-smoocher who would sell their first born for a promotion. You don’t have to (nor should you!) be that person. You should manage your career. Here’s how:

1. Have a goal and communicate it. Where do you want to go in the future? What roles interest you? Are you willing to relocate? Openly talk about these goals with your boss. Let him or her know what you want so they can help you get there.

2. Work for it. Nothing worth having comes easy. Develop yourself. Regardless if your organization has a formal development plan, set your own personal goals for self improvement and hold yourself to them. Maybe you need to stay current by reading The Economist every week. Maybe you need to enhance your coaching skills by informally working with a peer who needs some assistance. Maybe you need to sharpen your sales skills in order to step into a greater role in business development. You set the goal and you hold yourself accountable.

3. Market yourself. Make sure your employer knows why you are a valuable employee. Make sure your boss knows about your accomplishments. This does not mean putting other employees down. If you get a great email from a client recognizing your work, flip it to your boss. When it is performance review time be ready with a list of accomplishments and any supporting documentation. I know your mother told you that modesty is a virtue but she had never worked in today’s world when she said that. Modest employees get forgotten and left behind.

4. Believe in yourself If you do not believe in yourself; who will? You are good at what you do. Like Henry Ford said ‘whether you say you can or say you can’t, you are right’. The only one who can put up barriers in your life is you.

Wishing you a successful 2012!