Finish Strong

Finish Strong: Career Advancement

Finish Strong

Career Advancement

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Take the skills, knowledge, and experiences you gained during your time as a student and advance your position or career goals at your current workplace.

Finish Strong

5 Workplace Tips for Managing Opportunities and Your Professional Brand

1. Be Proactive

No one but you has a truly vested interest in managing your career. Always remember that even if you have the most supportive and helpful manager, it is up to you to make sure you are managing your career growth and success.

2. Be Willing to Step Outside Your Job Scope

The truth is, most people who are chosen for new roles, assignments, or positions are the people who are willing to take on more responsibilities or take the actions needed to get results, even if it may fall outside of their formal list of job responsibilities. So, when company leadership comes to you asking for your support on a project or initiative, say “YES! “ and then be sure to summarize what you took on and demonstrate the results that you've had in your check-in with your manager.

3. Document and Track Your Results

If you work a 40-hour workweek and have two weeks vacation and 10 holidays you are working almost 2,000 hours a year. That is a lot of time and it can be easy to forget key contributions from six months ago! So, take the agenda and notes you prepare for your regular check-ins and save and file them so you can refer back to them and pull out key contributions for annual performance review. Use our tools for skills and strengths assessment to help with this process

4. Update Your Resumé with Key Accomplishments Every Six Months

Use this documentation of your accomplishments at work to update your resumé and LinkedIn profile on regular intervals. Keep these tools up to date with the skills and accomplishments you are continuously developing so you are ready to take advantage of any internal or external opportunities.

5. Make the Most of Check-Ins with Your Manager

Your regular check-ins with your manager are a great opportunity to ask for feedback and talk about your accomplishments and goals. Managers are busy and this is a rare few moments when you have privacy and their complete attention.

Before each session with your manager, prepare an agenda that includes:

  • 3-4 key accomplishments or major project status updates.
    For example, "We had over 50 clients sign up to attend our marketing event this week. The biggest lead source was the marketing we ran in ABC industry publication."
  • A summary of the results you will achieve before your next check-in.
    This includes a reminder of any deadlines approaching that require your manager's input or review For example, "One of my key priorities this week is completing the draft report for client X and I will have it to you by Wednesday for review."


How to Use Check-Ins to Proactively Manage Your Career


Ask for Feedback
At the end of one of your check-ins try saying, "How am I doing? Is there any feedback you have for me to help me continue to improve my work?" This will help make your employer aware of your engagement.

Share Your Professional Goals
Been in your position more than a year and meeting all of your performance goals? Try saying, "My goal is to advance in my role into XXX. What feedback would you give me to make sure I am preparing the skills necessary for that role?" This does two things: it demonstrates that you are open and wiling to take feedback and makes sure your manager understands your professional aspirations and interests.

Demonstrate Your Results
Use your regular check-ins with your manager wisely to talk about the results you are achieving and how you are achieving them. Typically you should have a check-in once a week or once every other week where you can share your accomplishments, impact, and ideas.

Don't Just Point Out a Problem, Present Solutions and Ideas
Items on your agenda should include where there is a barrier or an issue that you need help, feedback, or input on how to resolve. This demonstrates your abilities in problem solving, and shows your investment in helping the organization grow and improve.