Do you want to move ahead quickly in your career? If so, you should take the initiative to make your professional dreams come true.
Even if you have the help of a mentor, you are the only one who really knows what you want out of your career — it is therefore up to you to focus your career development by setting your own career goals, assessing your job skills, and being a proactive protégé.
Learn the organizational culture
Before you can focus on your career development, you should learn the organizational culture of your company. It is crucial to understand the inner workings, such as the written and unwritten rules, before you try to advance within the established system. Your mentor can help because she has experience gained by working with high-ranking managers.
When your mentor talks about the organizational culture, encourage her to tell you more. In this way, you will gain valuable insights that will help you learn what is expected from employees who want to advance.
Set your own career goals
Once you know how your company operates, you can work on your career. The first strategy to focus your career development is to set your own career goals. You should decide what you want in your professional life and ask your mentor for his input. Your mentor can also help you discover your strengths and weaknesses on the job. But you must be the one who creates the first list of goals.
You probably have some short-term goals that you can reach quickly, like taking a training course. Others, such as a promotion, are long-term goals. If you list all your goals, they are easier to remember and reach in an organized manner.
A good way to focus your career path is to approach it step by step. With your mentor’s input, you can design specific strategies to meet your goals. Outlining the steps involved will make your goals seem more attainable.
Another good way to ensure you can meet your goals is to set deadlines. Your mentor’s experience will be valuable in helping you establish a realistic time frame in which to reach each goal. Deadlines can also help you track exactly what you are accomplishing as you are being mentored.
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