If you want something you’ve never had then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.
I’ve always been career driven since the age of 12, starting off as a kitchen porter in a local hotel, then working my way up to waiter, barman and then banqueting supervisor; I’ve always had that drive and focus.
Similarly I’ve progressed from service desk analyst, through to service delivery lead and now project manager, which is where I currently sit.
Still fairly fresh in my career I wanted to put together some points to help you achieve career-focused goals which have helped me.
Be flexible: don’t knock back a task because it’s not in your job description. Work those extra hours (to an extent). I’ve seen colleagues refuse to help on tasks because that’s not what’s in their job title.
Businesses will always retain, progress and help flexible employees. If you have a fixed mindset and are not flexible, it won’t help.
Be persistent: most businesses have in place a personal development plan of some sort. Take this seriously; a lot of people just think it’s a mundane task to do at the start of the year, mid-year and year end. Make measurable, ambitious yet achievable goals. Once set, don’t forget about them.
For example, if it’s a training course or certification, be persistent in asking your line manager. People tend to set goals, normally for certifications and put blame on their line manager for not achieving those goals. Have you chased them? Challenged them? If not, you’re the one to blame.
Be organised: when starting any new job, I’ve always had the next role in mind. Starting off as a service desk analyst I always knew I’d be moving on from day one. Don’t be scared to let your line manager know but don’t go into a new job all guns blazing and in 3 months you want X, Y and Z. That won’t happen. Prove yourself and your time will come.
Be career driven, not money driven: don’t get me wrong, money is great but I can guarantee your line manager doesn’t want to hear the reason you want that promotion is a salary increase. If money is driving you forward I’d review your thinking.
• Neil Greenhorn is an IT project manager with Lockheed Martin