We are now one month into the new year. Where are you with your goals? My focus in January was to simplify existing processes, create efficiencies and implement new strategies that would increase productivity. I’ve successfully managed to remove ambiguity and eliminate redundancy resulting in additional cycles of engineers and peers. I’m pleased with the progress in the past month. While I don’t want this to be the focus of this month’s blog; I want to make sure you’re pacing yourself and working towards your goals. Today, I want to talk about you!
You think you know yourself pretty well, right? I believe we all think we know ourselves pretty well, but I bet if I asked a hundred people to tell me about themselves, in let’s say a mock interview environment, they’d struggle. “What do you mean?” or “What do you want to know?”, I’m sure I’d hear. People might start telling me their hobbies, their likes, their background, etc., but let’s focus… we’re here to talk about certifications and careers – with a focus on careers; so sell yourself!
This is where we want to get to, but let’s pause for a second and think about ourselves especially around our career transition. What do you want and where do you want to be? We all want things, but wanting is simply not enough. We must take action or we will miss out on opportunities and it's up to us to limit those missed opportunities.
As you think about where you want to be, how prepared are you to get there? Over the past month, I’ve had the privilege of conversing with a managing director at UBS, Patrick Huang, about career development. Patrick is a great role model and his career achievements are inspiring. He’s helped me look more into myself, my behaviors, language (choice of words), etc. …Things that are so close to me that they go unnoticed. I’ve appreciated the time together as I find it eye opening and I hope that as you progress through your careers that you can find someone who can give you advice that makes you more cognizant of your character. I’ve had many great mentors in my career, but what makes Patrick unique is that I can easily identify with him. From his upbringing to his transitions (including moving to Asia), etc. I can identify with and I find it very helpful when you can relate to the person giving you advice.
I often ask for feedback from others, in fact, last month I asked my peers and stakeholders to provide me performance feedback. I don’t want the “I think you’re great at this…” or “you’re doing xyz very well”. I want the “_____ is an area where you could focus on that would really make a difference”. I find that many people often worry too much about hurting someone’s feelings that they avoid the areas that could really help someone grow. Find someone who can be brutally honest with you and be open to accept the feedback no matter how terrible it may sound. Don’t get defensive either, we often want to justify our behaviors – just accept it… perception is reality.
From now until my next blog, I want you to think about your strengths and areas of improvement. I want you to ask others, be it friends, family, coworkers on where you excel and where you can put more emphasis. Similar to the career development worksheet I shared in my previous webinar; I will help you put together a marketing plan that you can use to focus your effort. So, for next time think about the following:
- What type of job you’re looking for? (the more narrow, the better)
- What job function are you looking to do?
- What are your core competencies?
- What industries are you willing to work in?
- What are some companies you’d like to work for?
Take the time to think it through, think about what hurdles you might have to overcome to get you there. While you’re thinking about these things, what are some things you’ve learned about yourself from others? What are some things you struggle with changing? Who have you found influential and why? Let me know and at the same time, let’s keep pushing on our 2015 goals!