1. Always have a PLAN for your Career
There are no guarantees for permanent employment anywhere. Have a mental map of where you want your career to go, and keep an eye out for opportunities that would get you one step closer. Such opportunities include projects that increase your visibility, memberships, training, speaking engagements, etc. Developing a career plan ensures that you can continue moving your career forward.
2. Continuously upgrade and develop
Know your strengths, and continue to develop them further. Pick up projects and initiatives that would utilize your strengths. Figure out additional training (adjacencies, development areas) every year. Look for mentors and trusted advisors to give objective feedback.
3. Figure out the DNA of your Company
It’s important to fit into the culture of your corporate environment and to be liked, in order to get ahead. Be aware of the drivers and focus of the management; be aligned with their vision for the organization, so that you can pick up or be involved in relevant initiatives.
4. Communicate Effectively
It’s easy to say “Communicate more effectively”, but it’s not easy. The biggest challenges come from misinterpretations and misunderstandings. Do ensure your messages are clear, concise, understood, and accepted. When in doubt, it’s better to overcommunicate. Pay attention to how you text, email, call or speak. Actively listen, rephrase and check for understanding.
5. Teamwork across cultures, generations, and functions
Everyone has different work styles. Effective communication (see Pt 4) plays a major part in ensuring teams work smoothly together. An open mindset to what others have to offer and embracing diversity more often than not results in better outcomes.
6. Manage Conflicts and Problems effectively
There will always be problems, speed bumps, challenges, and obstacles. How you handle them can show your leadership potential. Remain calm, rational and diplomatic.
7. Network Actively
Continue to build and nurture relationships both within the organization and across the industry. Nurturing relationships within the organization would enable you to navigate the corporate more effectively and possibly increase your influence. Industry networks help you keep an eye on trends, competitor movements, and useful information to help you stay ahead of the game. Career opportunities usually surface via networks too.
8. Strengthen your Leadership Skills
Learn from the leaders you admire. Emulate how effectively leaders communicate and strategize. Learn to delegate, influence, and find opportunities to increase your visibility.