There are many opportunities that can help you propel your career forward. Often those that take you far are centered around improving your own professional abilities, expanding your network and continuing to push the boundaries of your comfort zone to grow.
Looking for some game changing chances to advance your career? Zero in on these opportunities.
Finding a rockstar mentor.
Having a great mentor can be transformative for your career. A mentor is invaluable when you are need of someone you trust to lend an ear and provide professional advice based on their experience. Because they’ve either been there, done that. Or, they have a different perspective to pull from while still having your best interests in mind.
So, what’s the making of a good mentor? First of all, someone who wants to be. They’re inclined and excited to share their knowledge and experiences to see you grow.
Not everyone is the type of person to be a mentor or wants to fulfill that role. But, good news is, there are a lot of people who do.
A good mentor will:
- Show interest in sharing what they’ve learned throughout their career to see others grow and excel
- Provide constructive feedback and guidance that will encourage you to continually improve upon your skills
- Feel invested in helping you succeed in your professional development
- Be successful in the goals they have set out for themselves, personally and professionally
Be on the lookout throughout your career, whether it’s within internships, entry-level or as a young manager for senior professionals that you connect with, who enjoy seeing others progress.
A mentor-mentee relationship doesn’t have to be formal, often these relationships take shape on their own. As you grow in your career, you’ll find you’ve made a lifelong colleague who’s always there to cheer you on.
Learning how to effectively manage a team.
Being a people manager isn’t easy and it doesn’t always come naturally. But, the farther you progress in your career there’s a good chance you’ll begin to move closer to roles that need you to effectively lead a team.
If this is something you see in your future, make a commitment to yourself now to begin developing the skills you need to be not just a good, but an awesome leader. Because when you can motivate a team of people around you in a way that makes them excited to be a part it, some pretty cool things can happen.
But, you can’t become an amazing leader overnight. You may not be a people manager now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t begin to learn how to coach and develop those around you.
Savor the moments when you can sharpen these skills.
Maybe it’s volunteering to be a peer mentor for your department’s summer intern. Or, making a point to help your new, entry-level team member get acclimated to the company. It can even be stepping up to lead a project team and guiding other members on how they can be a part of the goal you’re trying to reach.
When you start to look for these moments, you’ll begin find them more easily.
Accepting a global or special assignment.
Being given the opportunity to jump out of your regular responsibilities in your job and take on a special assignment can be very rewarding. Plus, often it can give you the rare opportunity to live and work in a new place, knowing you’ll land back home when it’s done.
A special assignment can take you to the next town over, or across the globe, or it may also leave you in the same place, but with new challenges to tackle. While there are no rules, these assignments are usually developed to help drive a strategic company initiative, establish new projects in other geographic areas, or help your company dip their toes into a new avenue for the business.
These chances to break out of your comfort zone can give you the opportunity to develop new leadership skills and can often be truly enriching experiences in your career that allow you to see the impact you’re making within your company and how you’re contributing to its success.
Effectively fulfill your temporary role and you could find a new career interest, experience new cultures, meet people you’ve only emailed before, and advance your career.
Not to mention, if takes you across borders having global work experience is a serious resume booster and sought after experience.
Being a leader within your industry or the community.
Seeking out leadership roles outside of your company can be a game-changer in developing yourself professionally and making valuable connections that will take you far in your career.
Sometimes we get focused on our trajectory at one organization, when you could still be growing your outside network and leaving yourself open for other opportunities. Or, it simply gives you a leg up when you’re seen as someone who is setting on-going, personal goals for themselves.
If you don’t already know about it yet, there’s a good chance there’s a local chapter of a professional association you can join and apply to be a part of its leadership team. Or, often there’s a young professionals group within that you can help lead. These organizations exist for nearly every industry and there always looking for new members.
There’s a lot of possibilities whether it’s volunteering, a non-profit or a local chapter organization. Not only does participating help your grow your skills, but it can seriously maximize your network helping you land roles in the future.