Have you felt Overlooked as well as Overworked?
One definition of overlooked is “to fail to notice or consider something or someone”.
In my workshops and coaching practice, I have come to believe that the secret to achieving and sustaining career success is cultivating the ability to embrace both being hands-on and being open to new ideas.
Having had the opportunity to observe and provide support to hundreds of people as they navigate job loss, job change, promotions, and career adjustments, I’ve watched how people can become too focused on being proactive and then lose sight of their goals. When you are receptive, you must be open to new ideas. On the other hand, if you are too receptive, you may not have direction and purpose.
Understanding how to create the intersection between preparation and opportunity is one of the most powerful things you can do for your career.
Outlined below are four straightforward strategies for making the connection between preparation and opportunity that will help you define and achieve your personal career success:
When we’re facing a job search, we tend to ask ourselves lots of questions with little time spent reflecting on what might be important to ask. Before looking outward or looking forward, begin by looking inward. Spend time reflecting on your interests, your strengths, and your work preferences. Give thought as to the environments and situations where you tend to excel. Think about, are you looking for a career, a job or a role, a vocation or a passion? Where do you get your energy? What causes stress and frustration?
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
We often become comfortable with doing the same things over and over again. This can be a positive because we get good at doing what we do on a day to day basis. The problem with this is our jobs or career choices shouldn’t define or confine us. There is an enormous amount of opportunity just waiting for us to explore if we would just look for them.
The next time you feel bored or anxious because something you are working on or a job selection has been taking its sweet time coming to fruition, take a deep breath and ask yourself if your comfort zone is playing a role in this feeling. Maybe it’s time to stretch your mental boundaries and explore uncharted territory.
Demonstrate and Declare
I was talking to a friend recently who used the phrase “demonstrate value”. It’s a phrase that is thrown around in business and marketing, but many don’t know what it means. The key word in the phrase is ‘demonstrate’. Demonstrating your value means showing that you have value, not just telling others that you do. This can be achieved through a variety of different methods from reaching ten sales targets at work, to cleaning your house before your mother-in-law visits. In both situations, no words are being exchanged, yet your actions show what’s important to you.
We all like to think that we can be true to ourselves, share our talents, and demonstrate positive attributes leading people to notice our skill and value. The reality is that people are busy, distracted, and unaware. If you don’t supplement your demonstration of skills with the declaration of skills, interests, and desires, you will be passively waiting for others to create opportunities for you rather than letting them know which avenues you are interested in and excited to explore.
Answer the Door When Opportunity Knocks
And don’t be shy about knocking on a few doors yourself
It can be challenging to stay current on open positions within your industry, much less those beyond your scope. Some of us have large networks that allow us to know if there are opportunities out there; however, others may get left behind in the shadows. The issue of being overlooked and being unable to respond in a timely fashion is one of many reasons why it’s important to keep your resume up-to-date and always be willing to speak with someone who expresses interest in your work.
Most people are reactive when it comes to reaching out to new contacts and exploring niche markets. In addition to responding when opportunity knocks, you need to be proactive by identifying interesting opportunities and situations. Leverage your network and engage them by letting them know what you are looking for, what you are exploring, and what you are learning in the process.
Most workers would love to succeed in their careers, learn new skills and get promoted yearly. Yet, for most aspiring careerists, their career vision becomes blurred after a few years on the job when they are overlooked and overworked. But this lackluster outlook can be turned around. And you can be successful regardless of your current position or title. Successful people approach both the process and content of their careers with goals in mind and skills to acquire for their personal growth. By implementing these simple strategies that I have outlined, you can take control of your career now.
If you want more information about how you can be proactive and make your current position even better or look for a new, more exciting role, reach out to me for a complimentary 30-minute session and let’s boost your enthusiasm for that new career move.