Many people have a story that follows this pattern. Start small, work hard, wait a longtime, and then finally, make it. But, this post isn't about those stories. This post is about how to take action and effectively land your dream job. So, here are 7 strategies that you can use right now to advance your career:
1) Read the room
One of the best ways to advance your career is understanding how to read a room. It’s having the social and emotional intelligence to accurately identify the landscape and respond with a fitting emotional response. Another way to look at this is, know your audience.
Using charisma, attention to detail, and effective communication skills, you can read rooms effectively. However, it’s not really about how you act or what you do, it’s about how you listen and respond to the wants, desires, and passions of your employer and/or team. This ultimately will bring value to you, your community, and your career.
2) Know what the problems are
Misunderstanding, miscommunication, and lack of expectations are a few of the things that derail careers and relationships. That’s why it’s important to know what the problems are, understand your audience, and deliver on your promises.
When you look at the highest performing professionals in the workplace, you’ll see knowledge and understanding; in many ways it’ll seem like these individuals are able to read the minds of their audiences. When you’re able - and willing - to understand the problems, you’ll be more prepared to provide appropriate solutions. This can relate to your working relationships as well as the advancement of organizations as a whole.
3) Be memorable
When you are memorable, you’re more than just you. Think about it this way: what do you remember about your grandparents? I’m guessing, it’s more than just their names. Likely, you remember their home, smell, sayings, and passions. This is because humans remember memorable things, not just people. So, think about how you can be memorable in a positive light.
Here are a few examples of how you can be memorable in your career:
- You use a specific saying all the time
- You treat people well consistently
- You make jokes or you don’t make jokes
- You understand yourself well – your strengths and weaknesses
4) Make your message about them, not simply you.
Everyone likes it when you make a message about them, and not simply about yourself. When you’re able to make your message about those around you and not just yourself, you create trust, and even more importantly, interest.
In a professional setting (i.e. an interview, training, or a review), it’s important to remember that you can actually get your agenda across by speaking directly about - and directly to – the challenges of those around you and how you can help them hurdle those obstacles.
5) Surround yourself with even better people
Create a tribe of contacts who are your biggest believers, who will advocate for you and rally around your messages, beliefs, and goals. But, more importantly, surround yourself with people who will make you look better, and ultimately, be better. When you do this, you create clout as a leader, and will be better prepared to actually be one.
6) Engage your network regularly and thoughtfully
When it comes to advancing your career, it’s important to be consistent, keep people “in the know,” and to be thoughtful and strategic in your approach. When you’re able to do these things, you will actually begin to develop a trusted brand outside of your personal network or in the case of your job, outside of your professional role.
7) Be yourself
Building a personal brand creates a unified experience of you that those outside of your circle can relate to, and it also helps you understand more about yourself. Remember, we’re all different and unique. When you’re true to yourself, you’ll begin to land the jobs you want, in the cultures you’re looking for much more easily.