We recently published the best New Year’s resolutions to make this year for your career. We had so much great advice from industry experts and wanted to follow up to get more information on trends and actionable plans. You have your goals, but how do you keep them top of mind and follow through? This series will expand on the advice from thought leaders and give you specific tasks to achieve your career goals.
Vicki Aubin, the Rockin’ Career Coach, suggests finding your “partner in action.” So what is that and how do I do it? Aubin explains:
1. How do you decide who is the perfect “partner in action”?
By being clear on your career goals and doing a ‘SWOT‘ analysis, per se. In other words, what are your strengths and areas of weakness in terms of the knowledge or skills you need to move your career forward in the direction you desire… and what are the opportunities and threats in front of you on the path to getting there? From there, you can seek out someone who has been in your shoes, who is in an ideal career role now that you aspire to, and who can ‘fill in’ the knowledge areas that are missing to guide you there. Think of it as hiring someone to fill a critical role on your ‘team’; recruiting a person who possesses critical strengths that perhaps are lacking elsewhere in the ‘team’s’ strengths/abilities.
Then, go out and seek that person; be it someone you already know, someone in your LinkedIn networks, or someone even outside your network.
2. Once you find a “trusted” partner in action, how can you ask them to be that person for you?
If it’s a potential mentor, you could invite them out for coffee and during your conversation of sharing your career goals, ask them if they would be willing to mentor/advise you in your pursuit of them. However, you must know WHY you want X person to be your mentor, and be able to passionately and genuinely express it. In other words, make it PERSONAL and let them know why THEY are your ideal mentor and how much they can make a difference in your career/life. Your mentor was likely once in your shoes and is very willing to help ‘pay it forward.”
If it’s a career coach or other career development professional, schedule an initial consultation/chat to get to know them more.
3. What do you think is the most important first step to take in any resolution, or goal you want to achieve?
First, you must be crystal clear on 1) WHAT you want to achieve and 2) know WHY you want it. In other words, WHY do you want X job, and what measurable difference will getting it make in your life? The clearer you are in both of these will aid enormously in:
- motivating and lighting the ‘spark’ needed to take action (and keep moving) towards your goal.
- focusing your efforts and actions SMART, so you do so efficiently (and avoid distraction and stress!)
4. Who has been the more influential “partner in action” for your career?
I’ve been fortunate to have a number of people who have helped me move my career forward, at different points in my career, including senior people in my field who I looked up to, as well as hiring career coaches of my own. 🙂
Creating goals is the easy part, making them happen is a different story. Having a “partner in action” and mentor to help you along the way keeps you accountable and allows you access to their strengths, where you might be lacking.