The best reward leading an executive recruiting firm are the opportunities to help individuals make a transition from one company to another, to progress from one stage in their career to another.
I’m fortunate in that I hear so many people’s career “stories”, good and bad; some people’s careers progress upward like rocket ships and others stall out or take a more circuitous route.
In every conversation we have with professionals in the food and beverage industry, individuals are looking for the quickest way to advance in their career.
Here are some of the strategies that anyone can implement “on their way up” in their career.
We make choices in our work day that have an impact on that day, but also further along in our career – deciding to take on a project or turn it down can be the difference in the arc of one’s career, so it’s important to choose wisely.
Find chinks in your company’s armor and fix them.
Two employees at the same level, rank and salary can look at a process that’s in place at their company and recognize where a bottleneck is, what the reason for it is, and how things would be different if that bottleneck didn’t exist.
It’s at that point where A-players separate themselves from the field – they become part of the change process – they involve themselves in the solution, and they surround themselves with other people who are of like minds. Throughout the process, they become familiar with people from other departments and their network expands – their reputation becomes contagious – their name becomes synonymous with positive change, action, getting things done.
The other person has the same awareness of the problem and solution, but doesn’t do anything about it.
Multiply this over the course of an entire career and you can see why the A-player’s experience, wisdom, and confidence will be on a totally different plane than the other person.
One resume reads like a record book – took company from point A to point B, solved problem X which saved $$$, asked to work on initiative which added $$$ to revenue in first year – the other resume reads like a job description – started here, did this, went to the next company, did this….
Which person are you?
Are you waiting for permission to fix a design or the format of a weekly report that senior executives aren’t reading?
Are you aware of a problem on the production floor that’s impacting your department’s efficiency?
If you want to be the person who other companies demand, you have to jump into the fire and solve problems in your current role, however large or small. Action vs. inaction. In the arena vs. on the sidelines.
Get. In. The. Game.
Sometimes you are going to fail but you are going to learn along the way.
You’ll try again, and you’ll use the previous failure to guide you to success the next time, and the next time.
Others will take notice – you’ll be asked to step in on more meaningful projects – you’ll become known as a “fixer,” someone who gets things done.
That reputation will precede you.
It’s not hard to see what’s wrong in a business. What’s hard is actually doing something about it.
What are you going to DO today about something at work that isn’t working?