How effectively have you managed your career over the past year?
Looking back over my Ask Jo articles for 2010, I noticed a common thread. It was about recognizing the self-imposed limitations that hold women back from achieving their full potential to lead and achieve.
As the year draws to a close and we launch into 2011, this is an ideal time for self-reflection. Here is a checklist of common career-limiting missteps to look out for, and proactive steps you can take to make sure you are living up to your potential and seizing all of the career opportunities available to you.
1. Stop wondering if you’ll make a good leader.
It’s time to dive right in and try it! Leadership can be learned, and the best way to learn is to just do it.
2. Stop being a people-pleaser!
Does the ‘disease to please’ get in your way when you try to give others feedback on their work performance? To overcome this limitation, learn to delegate, communicate clear guidelines and expectations, and give timely feedback.
3. Enough with mentoring sessions that just go through the motions!
Do you need to re-energize your mentoring relationships? There are a variety of different roles a mentor can play, and it may be time to change up how you are working together. Engage each of your mentors to be your coach, appraiser, advisor and referral agent.
Don’t just go to your mentors for feedback and advice. You can also engage them as sponsors. Accelerate your career advancement by asking them to open doors for you, make introductions and connect you to career opportunities.
4. Don’t fall for the most common roadblock women face in their careers.
Think you can’t get a higher-level job without leadership experience, but you can’t get the experience without the job? Think again! This roadblock need not stall your progress. You can take action to demonstrate your leadership skills no matter what job you are currently in.
5. Don’t be intimidated by senior-level leaders.
Do you struggle to find ways to connect meaningfully with senior-level leaders? Find ways to connect with them and cultivate relationships even when you don’t work for them.
6. Quit working so hard for no recognition.
Have you wondered why those who work hardest seem to get the least recognition? There are some simple steps that you can take, to make your hard work and accomplishments visible.
7. Don’t go undervalued by your company.
Has your company lost sight of why you are a valuable asset? To make your value clear, build a dynamic leadership brand that utilizes your talents, feeds your passions, and delivers a service that is needed and wanted by your company.
Use this checklist as a self-assessment to acknowledge the ways in which you have managed your career well in 2010, and what you’d like to do differently to move things forward in the new year.