New Year, New Career?

Whether you’re looking to make a move internally or externally, this may be the year that you change your career path. We’re always on the lookout for prospective Fontevans who might be a good fit for our team. And we’re equally committed to advancing our current staff on their chosen career paths within our organization.

In her article for ASAE Career Headquarters, career coach Cheryl Palmer highlights five steps people can take to make themselves promotable. I think they are worth reiterating at the start of a New Year, when many associations may be re-evaluating their human resources.

  1. Show your contribution to the bottom line. Even if you’re not in sales, you should still be able to articulate how the work you do is valuable to your organization. As much as possible, quantify how much money you have saved the company, what time-saving measures you’ve instituted, and how you have improved processes.
  2. Raise your skill level. In many fields, an advanced degree is becoming a necessity. Getting that degree can be a good reason for an employer to give you a raise and maybe even a promotion. Also, it is becoming increasingly common that certifications above and beyond a college degree are required for many fields.
  3. Look for opportunities to be involved in your organization at a high level. Joining organization-wide committees can be a good way to become known outside of your department and gain visibility with management. You can demonstrate your problem-solving skills as a committee member and get to know others in the organization.
  4. Let management know about leadership experience you’ve gained outside of work. Even if you haven’t had the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills on the job, other experience may be persuasive. For example, you may have taken on a leadership role in a professional association or community group
  5. Find an internal champion who can speak knowledgeably about your contributions. If you have a mentor who is well placed in the organization, he or she is in an excellent position to speak up for you. An internal champion can open doors by recommending you for opportunities as they become available.

As I reviewed Palmer’s list, it also occurred to me that these are excellent goals for all of us to strive for, regardless of our career aspirations. Evaluate yourself in each of these areas that Palmer highlights and determine how you measure up. If you do so honestly, the New Year might just bring a new approach to your career.