Do you ever feel like progressing your career as a leader in your profession is really hard? Are you afraid of making major career mistakes?
You’re not alone.
Why aren’t more leaders succeeding? For a large percentage of the population, leaders have made career mistakes by not preparing themselves to take advantage of new opportunities which come their way.
Here are 4 career mistakes to avoid if you want to
progress as a leader in your profession:
1. Not having your professional credentials ready at all times Effective leaders draw people to them like flowers draw bees. Executives in other departments want you to bring some of that leadership magic to their teams too and you might find them pitching new opportunities to you. However, I find it amazing how many rising leaders don’t have their professional credentials ready to immediately be reviewed by decision-makers. You should always have an updated resume, an optimized LinkedIn profile, updated business cards and 3 recent professional success stories you can share that showcase your expertise and ability.
2. Not having suggestions for your potential replacement If you are a strong leader, your boss will fight to keep you as long as they can. It is tough and expensive replacing a star employee. Between recruiting costs, the hit on team morale when having to cover your work, and the time it takes for a new employee to become productive, just thinking about having to replace a top performer makes a senior leader feel sick to their stomachs.
In order to help expedite your ability to accept a new opportunity, always have the names of 2-3 candidates who would be a great backfill for you. The candidates can be either internal or external to the company. Don’t know of anyone? Then start activities like professional networking or mentoring a colleague to source viable alternatives.
3. Failing to know the reputation of your leadership brand You need to know what differentiates you as a strong leader and how you add value to your employer. If you know how you save or make a company enough money to justify it paying your salary, then you know how to market that value to attract new career growth opportunities.
4. Not building a network of strategic supporters I can’t stress this enough. Your professional contacts are crucial to your getting the leadership opportunities you want and deserve. The best way to build a strong network of strategic supporters is to serve them. Ask key influencers to lunch to get to know them. Listen to the work challenges which keep them up at night and find a way to offer some assistance. People remember when you help them. That social currency will come back to you when you least expect it.
Take full ownership of your career progression and become a sought-after leader known for partnering with colleagues in order to accomplish big things.
Once you build a leadership brand that is in-demand, you will seamlessly gain the professional respect you want and deserve.
Start by taking action to avoid these 4 common career mistakes. Failing to do so could lead to some serious professional regret in the future.