Ability, attitude and adaptability are three qualities that underpin the success of those who craft a satisfying career. Workers who are able to demonstrate these qualities have managed to create their own unique job description, by focusing on the tasks they actually want to do and can do well, over the tasks they have to do. There is an increasing recognition that certain jobs are crafted by individuals, rather than by the HR department’s job description. How is this done?
By taking responsibility to develop your own unique set of skills you are perfectly placed to tailor your own job description. Learning German to help your company liaise with an important supplier based in Berlin, or developing your knowledge of cyber security so you are able to advise your manager on the correct software can easily place you in the position of being the expert in the room. Such knowledge and ability will not go unnoticed, and very quickly you may be asked to take responsibility for areas of the business that attracts you the most. A useful book to help guide you through the possibilities of being able to craft your career is
Schawbel Dan. Promote Yourself. The new rules for building an outstanding Career. [St Martin’s press] 2015
Schawbel gives clear and insightful advice on how to use strategies to transform your career. He recommends “do one thing every day…add a new skill, share a new idea with your group… that will advance you”. This simple but extremely effective piece of advice would ensure that within a month you would have developed about 30 new ways of demonstrating an impressive track record of performance.
Taking on extra responsibility does, of course, have its downside. Initially, you may have additional work as you have absorbed more tasks into your role. At this point, it is tempting to try to relinquish parts of your job that you do not find so appealing. Timing is, however, crucial, and you should pick your moment wisely, such as your monthly review, to suggest that your days would be better spent on the areas of the business where you have developed expertise. If you have proven that these are the areas where you have added value for the company it will help your case. Very quickly, your positive attitude will have allowed you to expand your role and develop opportunities to be involved in significant and more meaningful activities. You have successfully crafted your career and you will find it easier to negotiate which areas of your work you wish to relinquish. As Schawbel points out “the number one rule… Is give before you receive”.
When asked to take on additional responsibility it is tempting to look on the negative side. The extra work, the longer working day, and the impact it will have on your life is difficult to ignore. However, there may be an opportunity to involve yourself in areas of the business that you would not normally experience. Showing that you are adaptable and willing to embrace a new area of the business will undoubtedly demonstrate an impressive ambition and drive. This will be a major step forward in helping your craft your career.
In Schawbel’s book, he speaks about “the power of personal branding and the art of crafting your ideal career.” In this blog, I have synthesized three qualities which will help you design your own career and help you create an impact on those around you.
If, of course, your efforts go unrewarded, you still have acquired valuable knowledge and additional skills which another company will find very attractive.
In My Career change workshops, we will help you craft a career which reflects your strengths, values and interests.