People need to do two things to maximize their careers: constantly improve their skill set and motivate others.
Companies with leaders that engaged workforces outperformed their peers by 147% in earnings per share, says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, author of “The Magnetic Leader: How Irresistible Leaders Attract Employees, Customers, and Profits.”
Tips on boosting your career prospects:
Take stock regularly. Michelle Turman, author of “Jumping the Queue: Achieving Great Things Before You’re Ready,” recommends making a list of the top three factors that you identify are holding you back, and what your top three goals are.
This helps you to “see how to align the work and steps to move you forward,” she adds.
Define your purpose. In contemporary terms, understand what makes you tick, or in Shakespearean ones, “to thine own self be true.”
Once you know what you do not want to do, “begin to recognize what you do well and enjoy,” Turman says. “This will help you seek the job opportunities you want to find or start a business that you can be passionate about.”
Don’t curb your enthusiasm. Philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said. “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”
Similarly, Matuson says employees can tell when their leaders aren’t passionate. This can lead to a host of productivity problems and loss of valuable people.
Leaders who don’t have enthusiasm “are costing organizations millions, if not billions of dollars, as there is a real cost to employee turnover,” she says.
Embrace servant leadership. Innovative workspaces and all kind of perks won’t make employees delusional enough to stay and work under an ineffective leader,” Matuson said.
“Employees want respect, interesting assignments, professional development opportunities, clear expectations, feedback and fair compensation,” she said. “Treat them with authenticity and transparency.”
An effective leader helps reduce turnover, Matuson reminds. “Promote from within and give direct but kind feedback. Listen to your staff members. Take the time to have meaningful conversations.”
Shine online. Create a strong presence. Start with your LinkedIn profile, have a professional photo and keep information up to date, Matuson says.
Further practice and refine your elevator pitch — what you want to say briefly about yourself when you’re introduced to others, she says. To showcase your unique strengths, take advantage of any speaking opportunities.
The result is twofold: attracting great people who are inspired to work under you and making yourself attractive for any great opportunities that come your way.
Create a resiliency mindset. Adversity in life and in business is a given for most. Be prepared to overcome it when it rears its head.
In Turman’s case, lack of opportunities “in no way slowed me down or detoured me.
I simply created a road map that was nimble enough so that when I hit an obstacle, I would go around it or go through it.”
She says don’t be afraid to take a different route and be flexible if you’re not growing and getting what you need.
Develop supreme confidence. Foster an unwavering belief in yourself because there will be times no one will agree with you, your big idea or purpose, Turman says.
“It can be crushing when a mentor, a family member or a spouse is not as passionate or sure as you may be about your idea or purpose,” Turman said. “And it happens to everyone. This isn’t to say do not listen to advice or hear different vantage points, but if your gut, heart and/or head tell you jump, then do it.”
She shares when she decided to start her own business at 40; a mentor questioned the purpose of that business. That was four years ago and today her company, Catalyst Consulting Services, represents over 50 nonprofits, has raised over $60 million dollars and is a model that other consultant firms look to as the new standard.
“Never ever give up!” she said.
Click here to purchase your copy of Jumping the Queue: www.jumpingtheq.org