Look up from your Task List Toward Your Future Goals

Gantt diagramI find that many women that focus solely on their to-do list are not always the first choice for promotions. They are so focused on the details that they fail to envision how their knowledge and expertise might benefit them in their journey to reach new heights.

As companies are condensing staff and asking more of their employees,  it can be difficult to dig out from a task list to actively plan a career strategy especially for women that have many demands outside the workplace.

If you want to get ahead in the workplace it does take time and a plan. It is helpful to think about it as you do a project: outlining current situation, future desire and a roadmap to get from here to there.

For women, I find an effective method is focusing on a desired skill with the goal to be an expert. Find something that is in demand and work to learn everything you can about it to strive toward being the go-to for this topic.

Strive to be an expert in some element of your field.

Some ideas to achieve this are:

  • Utilize the Internet and Social Media to get familiar with the topic. After a few months of reading, it is inevitable that you will know much more than many of this particular topic.
  • Hire experts to train or guide you after work hours, or online via WebX or online chat. Find ways to dig deep into the details which will boast your confidence and give you the knowledge to shine. (this can be an technology expert or career coach depending on what you need)
  • Become an expert in your own right – Write about your findings.  Work to get it online as a blog post or comment on online articles or post it on your social media sites with your own comments.
  • Build your mentors and sponsor network to help position you for the leadership position you desire (I have an entire program on this)
  • Find opportunities to represent the data (internal meetings, company events, industry events) as often as you can at work or around your community – this often showcases leadership qualities.
  • If you are not the public speaker type, leverage social media and online blogs to become relevant on the topic.
  • Join or build an online community so you have a network to discuss, learn and grow.
  • Learn what it takes to be promoted, do the work and ask for the sponsorship to be considered.
  • Don’t be afraid to change tracks, it often takes some career zigzags to get to your desire location

To excel you must build a plan to spin your knowledge and effort into a personal brand that delivers quality results. So when you find a position you are interested in you can easily showcase your abilities and expertise and elevate your ranking in the stack of qualified candidates.