Don't Be Your Best Kept Secret

Knowledge, skills and experience are often quoted (correctly) as what is most important for managing and advancing careers. Closely followed by attitude, enthusiasm and commitment (also correct!).

However, this leads many of us to focus on working harder and harder, to get better and better at what we do and neglect the skills needed to manage a career. For those of you who have worked away and waited to be noticed, you might agree this is not necessarily the most effective or efficient way to get ahead.

There is no doubt that to achieve your career ambitions it is essential to be good at what you do. But career success is not limited to what we do, but also how we do it.

Expertise in how to 'work at work' and how to work at managing a career are both areas where knowledge, skills and experience (not to mention attitude, enthusiasm and commitment) are also essential.

One of the key skills is to learn how to communicate in the business environment so that your messages are clearly understood. This allows you to be more effective when exactly what you mean is what is conveyed and it helps the value that you provide to be understood.

How you work, or your operating style, which is simply how you are known to work, builds your credibility and becomes your professional reputation. The skills that are important to learn are: how to operate in meetings and work with teams, how to negotiate, resolve conflict, lead and get back up when things don't go your way. Are you calm, cool and collected or manic, mayhem and misery to be around? How you act and react goes a long way to dictate whether others want to work with or for you.

And whilst you are communicating effectively, being cool, calm and collected (that is the preferred outcome to the question above) your current and future success will also depend on pro-actively managing your career. From having a career plan to networking, working with mentors and learning the skills to get-the-job-you want and then to negotiate your remuneration - there are a lot of areas to know about.

Which is why prioritising what is important to you and deciding what you have the capacity to actually do is also a crucial career management skill.

Being brilliant at something (anything, actually) is tremendous. But if no-one knows about it or appreciates who you are and what you do, it may be difficult for you to reap the rewards you deserve. The value that you bring to a role is not something you want to be your best-kept secret.

Golden girls (and guys) need to learn how to shine and stand out from the crowd.

If you are in Sydney I am holding a one-day Career Development Workshop where Kate Southam, Serena Beirne, Rebecca Sebastian and I will be sharing specific tips for how to develop many career skills.

We'd love to see you there! If not read, talk with your mentor, network, attend programs and seek out trusted advisers.

Learn how to share your best secret - YOU!


1 comment:

  1. No one individual is an expert in every single area that might eventually impact some aspect of leadership. While, ideally, a leader should have the knowledge skills and abilities and intelligence that gives him an advantage, it is always wise for someone in leadership to surround himself with trusted advisers.