Working Transitions

Shaken and stirred - how to manage your career

The current James Bond, Daniel Craig, has reportedly turned down an eye watering £150 million to reprise his role for a further two films. “Everyone knows how much executives adore him, and the idea of losing him at such a crucial time in the franchise isn’t an option as far as all the studio honchos are concerned” said a source at Radar. But Craig has previously said of Bond that he would rather ‘slash my wrists’ than agree to another film.

The reason appears to be one of not wanting to pigeon-hole himself in the role. Craig feels that for the sake of his career and what he wants to achieve, continuing to play Bond will do more harm than good.

Even if you are not an A- list movie star, career planning is a skill many people fail to develop, yet, in order to achieve your career aims it is essential. Here are some top tips:

  1. Establish clear goals

It’s important to be clear about your career destination. It may be a long term aspiration, involving multiple steps, so you also need to think about mini goals along the way – the things that need to be achieved in order to reach your final big goal. Assessing where you are and what you need to do is easier if you view it in “bite sized” chunks.

  1. Communicate your goals

When communicating your goals you should be clear and unambiguous. Your manager and mentors should know what your goals are. Of course it’s important that you don’t come across as arrogant and not interested in the job you are currently doing. Performing well in your current job is a key step towards achieving your career goals.

  1. Encourage feedback

In order to develop your skills, you must be able to take both positive and negative feedback. Whilst it can be uncomfortable, constructive criticism allows you to adjust your approach and this will benefit your career. It may also allow you to review your goals and make any changes.

  1. Don’t be modest

Share your successes and when you talk about your achievements, focus on what you actually did to deliver a great result, rather than a personal quality which is inherent to you. It’s also important that you focus on the outcome or benefit to the organisation/client/team of your actions – the “so what” of your achievement, in a straightforward, non-bragging style.

  1. Keep records

Once a quarter, make a record (along with any examples etc) of things you have achieved. This helps with goal setting and will also help you during appraisals and interviews, rather than having to rack your brains.

  1. Stay informed

Ensure you read industry specific news and blogs. Engage in social media. Understand what is going on in your industry. Not only will this help you demonstrate your knowledge, it will also help you navigate your career and re-assess your goals. If your industry is moving in a certain direction, you can react quickly and seize opportunities.

  1. Keep connected

Networking is important. Maintain communication with past colleagues, mentors and industry influencers. These people will give you a broader or different perspective and invaluable advice. They can also be a useful source of career opportunities, most people find their next job via their network so make sure you build yours well.

  1. Build personal credibility

With the knowledge you gain, make certain that you share the best articles and express a point of view. Connect online with any influencers and engage within the industry community.

  1. Put yourself forward

As well as not being modest – don’t be shy. Whenever an opportunity presents itself that is aligned with your goals, volunteer for the project/extra responsibility, even if you feel apprehensive or slightly scared by the challenge.  Be certain people know what you can bring, the skills you want to learn and how it will benefit both parties.  Be willing to step out of your comfort zone but don’t volunteer for just anything – it has to be valuable for your career journey.

  1. Make it habit

Building all of this into your daily work regime, and separating out time to do what needs to be done, is important.  Managing your career is a task that can easily get overlooked and forgotten about in the bustle of everyday activities, but if you invest a small amount of time in the process, it can benefit you immeasurably.

Of course, career planning is easier when you are worth a reported £95m already and you have made tiny blue swimming shorts famous worldwide! It is true that sometimes conscious decisions have to be made in your career, or the best laid plans go awry and events overtake you.  However, keeping a flexible plan at the forefront of your mind will help you develop your career in the direction you want and is more likely to allow you to reach your ultimate goal. Like Mr Bond your dream job “has been expecting you…


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Working Transitions
13 September 2016
Supporting effective and successful organisational change


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