Many leaders and ambitious business professionals want their new career opportunities right now. The challenge? Many times, they are not ready!
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with a college junior. He’s a go-getter. He’s in a hurry to graduate and get on with his career! This summer he has an internship, a part-time job, and is taking two classes.
I shared with him, “Slow down. Consider you’ll most likely have more than 7 careers in your lifetime. So, it’s important now to build a solid foundation of skills in each job and class. Take the time to learn and grow. Sometimes you don’t get a second chance when attracting great career opportunities.”
This ambitious young man will go far as long as he’s able to curb his impatience and build a strong set of foundational skills as he moves forward in his career.
Many ambitious people leap too fast into new jobs and career opportunities. They’re not skill-ready. And, they lack the awareness of what these skills are and are impatient while waiting to move up to the “next level.”
Consider for a moment people getting what they want before they are ready:
- 70% of lottery winners end up broke (National Endowment for Financial Education)
- 40% of executives fail within the first 18 months (Business2Community)
- It’s typical to find the grass is not greener in the next job or career (Forbes)
It’s important to build a solid foundation of skills in each job and task now. This enables you to take those skills and enjoy the benefits of your success tomorrow.
Build a Solid Foundation of Skills Today to Prepare You for New Career Opportunities
Get Real. Many times, you will create goals based on ideals (e.g., being a millionaire, having the title of boss or executive, leading larger projects, etc.). The problem is…and I’ve seen it happen too often in my 28 years of coaching…you’re not ready! You lack the skills required to succeed at the next level (e.g., build good working relationships, execute intended results, resolve team conflicts, etc.). Work with your coach to clarify your career direction and avoid latching on to “job titles,” “paychecks,” or other compensation as “the goal.” If you don’t have your own coach, get one!
Hire a Coach and Find a Mentor. Remember, you cannot snap your fingers and transform your skillsets. It takes time, practice, and more practice before you become a master. Instead of relying on the normal DIY approach and struggling through the inevitable trial-and-error, fast-track by hiring your own coach. Don’t rely on the company to do it for you. Also, find an industry or company mentor. Make sure both of these people can guide you through difficult relationships, projects, and company politics. Next, it’s up to you to be coachable.
Conduct an Honest Evaluation About Your Current Skills. All business leaders and ambitious professionals have blind spots. Use a qualified job fit tool and a 360-degree feedback assessment to uncover them. Armed with this info, work with your coach to develop the skills required for the next level of job responsibilities.
Persist by Doing the Work. There are no short-cuts. It’s easy to go off-track and avoid potential failures or after you’ve experienced failure. Work with your coach to clarify and develop a strategic career plan that works for you. Remember, the experiences of both success and failure make you a better fit for future jobs IF you take the time to build your skillsets now.
Thank, Brag, and Celebrate!
- Make it a habit to say, “Thank you.” and “I appreciate your help.”
- Learn how to self-promote or brag about your accomplishments.
- Celebrate all accomplishments, large and small.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.
Note from Jeannette: I Want My New Career Opportunities Now…I’m Ready! How many of you have heard the motto “30 and out?” It’s when employees have worked in the same company, and often the same job, before retiring after 30 years! But this is no longer a career option. Most of you, when you retire, will have had more than 7 careers in your lifetime! The challenge? As ambitious professionals and leaders, you will probably jump into your next career opportunity too soon. You won’t be ready. This is why it is important to build a solid foundation of skills in each job along the way. If you’re struggling to determine your career direction, contact me for a confidential conversation.