Career Growth StrategiesOver the years I have learned a lot about setting career goals and achieving success. I have been extremely fortunate to work for and develop my own growth within some of the largest, most well-known and well reputed companies in the world (such as IBM). I have also benefited by working with niched companies with an extreme passion for what they do (such as craresources).

Throughout my tenure as a professional, I have been asked to coach and mentor many individuals as they progress throughout their career, and today I would like to introduce 5 strategies that I believe will effectively guide you in growing your own career to the next level.

Career Growth Goals: You Have to Set Them Before You can Achieve Them

Be disciplined in setting your goals. Focusing on setting goals which are highly desirable, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and have real due dates is imperative when it comes to career growth. Oh – and remember that almost achieving your goals is a failure, so be sure to write your goals down in a way that will result in a higher probability of reaching them.

Consider using open (but specific) phrases like:

  • On or before December 31, 2023.…” – Which actually results in giving yourself permission to achieve your goal before the due date.  After all, it is easier to achieve a goal “on or before” December 31st than “exactly on” December 31st. Wouldn’t you agree?
  • “…I will have secured the job title of Clinical Research Associate or better.” – Why limit yourself? Let’s face it, it is easier to aim for something ‘or better’ than an exact title.
  • If you want to be awarded a position earning a grander salary than your current position, consider phrasing your goal like: “On or before <month / date / year> I will have secured a position where I am earning a salary of at least $$ per year”.  – Using the term ‘at least’ communicates to your subconscious that you are okay with more but not okay with less.

Establishing a well thought-out and well executed goal strategy is critical if you want to grow within your career. Then read those goals daily in order to stay focused.

Create a Professional Growth Plan to Reach your Goals

One of my mentor’s favorite sayings is: “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Along those same lines, Geoffrey James of Inc.com made a statement in one of his articles that really resonated with me: “…if I don’t take action, I will fail by default…” ¹. Build an action plan which will provide a step-by-step guideline for you to obtain your goals. And then, be faithful in your execution!

Perform a Daily Assessment

Create a daily list outlining your successes and failures. Not only should you celebrate your career growth successes, but you should closely analyze what you did to accomplish them. Would you consider some of your successes to have happened by accident? If so, this would beg the question as to whether there are really accidental successes…. Or were those successes the results of method and discipline?

With the same scrutiny, you should also evaluate your career growth failures so you can learn from them. Diligently study what caused the failures and what you could have done differently to affect a different outcome. Then, and put action plans into place to ensure you don’t repeat those same mistakes.

Always, always focus on doing the right thing

Napoleon Hill stated: “I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless built upon truth and justice, therefore I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects.” ²

You do not have to step all over someone else or behave in an unethical way to achieve professional growth or career success. I personally believe that one of the most important character traits anyone can possess is their moral integrity. And of course this means always doing the right thing by behaving a way that is for the highest good of everyone concerned.

Give yourself permission to be afraid, but do it anyway

(1) Geoffrey James “8 Beliefs That Make You More Resilient
(2) Napoleon Hill “Laws of Success” Copyright 1928, published by The Ralston University Press, p245