How To Confidently Build Career Success
Do you want to move up in the company you are currently at? Or perhaps you want to make a move but aren’t sure how. Regardless, having a successful career is probably on your mind, and the good news is – there are many ways to be seen and heard by the right people!
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn where she interviewed the Founder of The Briefcase Coach, Sarah Johnston.
They shared key tips and personal experiences for confidently communicating to build career success. Here are some of the top points they discussed.
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1. Thinking Strategically
There may come a point in your career, and maybe it’s right now, where you feel like you are stuck. You aren’t getting the promotion you want, and you feel overlooked within your team.
What you want to do is avoid staying in this “head down” mentality where you aren’t communicating and working cross-functionally. This can hurt your visibility and potential key opportunities.
If you are feeling this way, begin looking around and seeing who outside your immediate team you can build strategic relationships with. If you have relationships with senior leaders in other groups, as they may move up or into other companies, these leaders may be great internal champions for you too. They’ll pull you in and up with them. So think and look around: who have you encountered that you liked and had a good connection with. Is there something you can learn from them? What can you do to engage with them? It just starts with reaching out strategically.
💡We recommend the e-course “Building Professional Relationships” to help you turn contacts into meaningful relationships.
4. Career Sprinters
Have you ever known someone who was the youngest person to become the CEO of that company or they were the first person to get into the boardroom for that meeting?
Oftentimes these “career sprinters” came to be because they volunteered to do things that no one else wanted to do. If your goal is to move up the career ladder very quickly, you may want to consider not only picking projects that you enjoy doing but also picking a project that no one else wants to do and doing a really great job at delivering on that project.
When you are thinking about volunteering, ask yourself what your end goal is. Align your goal with appropriate projects.
Volunteering also gives you visibility. Visibility is one of the most important things for career advancement. If you’re out of sight, you’ll be out of mind. You can’t expect people to be thinking about you all of the time. You want the decision-makers within your company to know your name and know that they can trust you to get the job done.
Part of getting the decision-makers to notice you is to be strategic in where you put your energy. Some volunteering is worth more than others.
3. Avoid “Office Housework”
During the interview, Sarah referenced the term “Office Housework”. She noticed that the women she works with are often the ones who fall into volunteering for these types of projects.
“Office Housework” is work that is often done by women and it is often not mission strategic. This work does not necessarily get recognized by organizational leaders.
“Office Housework” Includes
- Throwing office parties
- Taking notes during a business meeting
- Being the scheduler
- Any and all admin tasks that are not part of your core responsibilities
While volunteering is a great way to gain exposure with other people and departments, you’ll want to make sure you’re volunteering for strategic projects. Ask yourself the following questions before volunteering for a task.
- Are you raising your hand appropriately for the right work that connects with your potential next role?
- Are the projects you are volunteering for time well spent?
- How are you positioning yourself for that next role?
- Will this project help in the long game?
Remember, you want to make sure the tasks you volunteer for are ones that will move you forward and get you in front of the right people that can help your career.
4. Express Your Interest
You know that you want to level up, and you know part of that is being recognized for work that aligns with your next career move. But how do you go about getting noticed for that next project?
The first thing to do is you have to express your interest out loud. Your boss and your co-workers don’t know you’re interested in taking on more unless you tell them. If this thought feels intimidating, you can start by expressing this to just one person. It does not need to be a company announcement!
Slowly over time as you begin to engage with others, you will build your very own “arm of influence” – these are the people that know you and are going to advocate for you. And when the opportunity does come, they will remember that you expressed your interest in this particular project, and they’ll remember. Remember: top of mind is key!
Speaking up at work can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. In our LinkedIn Learning e-course, Speaking Up At Work, you will learn how to make sure your best ideas are heard by the right people in your organization.
5. Emotional Intelligence or EQ
According to LinkedIn, one of the most important soft skills is having employees who have high emotional intelligence. Hard skills are what get you in the first few doors, but soft skills are what helps you rise up. Companies are searching for employees who can relate, connect, sell and create relationships – because they need people who can connect the dots between people and technology. This is emotional intelligence or EQ at work.
Ways that you can flex your EQ:
- Listen to the needs of other people
- Make sure you are being resourceful for other’s needs
- Read books, listen to podcasts and watch videos about EQ
- Ask thoughtful questions
- Observe how you react to certain situations as well as how the other people in the room are reacting
Part of being a strong communicator is having a high EQ, and making sure what you are saying is being received the way you intended it to be. Being a strategic communicator comes with having social awareness. Part of having social awareness is being able to understand non-verbal communication cues. (In our e-course, Mastering Non-Verbal Communication, you will learn that you must be mindful and intentional with your body language. Start learning this today!)
Emotional Intelligence is one of the most important skills and everyone has the ability to learn it.
It is possible to confidently build career success. Stepping out of your comfort zone, and making sure you are strategic are all part of the journey!
If you would like to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Sarah’s conversation, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.
If you want learn more about how to confidently build career success work with the Soulcast Media team – sign up for the Soulcast Media Membership today!