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Three Key Skills To Help Build And Navigate Your Career

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Asad Husain, author of “Careers Unleashed” 

Building an extraordinary career in turbulent times requires a potent and evolving combination of strategies, mindset, skills and actions.

In this article I will explore three critical skills required to build and navigate a successful career amid constant and fast change.

1. Maintain Your Performance.

To build an extraordinary career, thinking strategically about performance is important. No matter what the situation you are in, do not let your performance drop. It does not matter if you do not like your company, its culture, its leadership or your boss.

Keep your performance from slipping up. Your performance is on you. You need this mindset or power throughout your career. Do not give anyone any excuse to point towards your performance. If your performance is excellent, you start at a great place, no matter the situation. If you are in a job, do it well until you leave it.Here are a few things to consider:

  • Set ambitious goals that challenge you to stretch beyond your comfort zone and push yourself to perform at your best.
  • Focus on continuous performance improvement by seeking opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Adopt a growth mindset, believing that your abilities and intelligence are not fixed and can be developed further.
  • Always look for opportunities to take initiative and go above and beyond your job description. Volunteer for new projects, suggest process improvements or take on additional responsibilities.
  • Focus on delivering results. You must be seen as someone who consistently delivers results and can be counted on to deliver under pressure.

There is no question that in today’s turbulent work and business landscape, you will face adversity, challenges and complexity in your career. How will you still maintain a high level of personal performance then?Here are a few things you can employ to navigate these difficulties and strive for excellence:

  • Building resilience is crucial for facing adversity. Train yourself to see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Embrace adversity as temporary and focus on finding solutions.
  • Learn to adapt to change.
  • Prioritize self-care. Taking care of oneself is essential for sustained high performance. Prioritize physical exercise, adequate sleep and healthy eating habits. Engage in activities that provide relaxation, reduce stress levels and maintain mental wellbeing.
  •  Stay focused. Concentrating on what truly matters avoids distraction and enhances performance.
  •  Reach out for support and collaborate with others.

No matter the circumstances, do not let your performance leverage slip away.

2. Stacking meaningful experiences.

The second piece of advice I give to everyone wanting to grow and develop in their careers at an accelerated pace is to seek diversified experiences. Experiences stretch you in terms of learning and growing and allow you to demonstrate your impact. I have had many pivotal experiences in my career. Each experience stretched me, got me out of my comfort zone, taught me things I did not know, built new connections, provided me with a deeper understanding of various parts of the organization, and allowed me to show my impact on matters important to the company.

Sometimes as employees, we wish things would normalize and that change would stop briefly, but if you are pursuing accelerated growth, seek diverse experiences and show up in those moments. Particularly explore jobs that give you diverse experiences which will build your development and allow an increasingly higher impact. These kinds of meaningful experiences will provide you with:

  • Skill development
  • An expanded network
  • Opportunities to demonstrate initiative and drive
  • A broadened perspective and adaptability
  • Increased confidence and personal growth
  • Transferable skills and versatility

It’s important to note that the key lies in not only accumulating experiences, but also reflecting on them, extracting what you learned and applying those learnings to future projects, initiatives and jobs. This deliberate approach helps you grow continuously and accelerates your career development.

3. Connecting today with your future by taking action.

Finally, one of the most important differences between those who can build successful careers and those who don’t is the simple but critical step of ‘taking action’. I have seen numerous people being stuck in their careers because, for some reason or the other, they get stuck and do not take any action toward changing their career circumstances. Sometimes they get stuck in planning the best career plan, waiting for the perfect timing, do not have the courage to force the change, or cannot bring themselves to take a risk.

Creating a purposeful plan for your career is important, but if you only plan, what good will it achieve? The best way to achieve your plan is to balance introspection and action. As you identify each step that you need to take to reach your goals, be aware of what you are learning about your plan and keep adjusting it based on what you pick up through your action steps. Real change comes from action. The distance between where you stand today and your career aspirations can only be bridged by your actions.

Maintain your performance, stack meaningful experiences, and take action with your career plan and you will always be able to navigate a successful career regardless of the turbulent world around you.

 

*Adapted from “Careers Unleashed” by Asad Husain

 

Asad Husain

Asad Husain is a four-time Chief Human Resource Officer and future-focused Human Resources leader who is passionate about inspiring and influencing people worldwide to achieve their career aspirations. He has thirty-one years of experience contributing to organizational growth and individual success in companies like Gillette Company, Procter & Gamble, Dun & Bradstreet, Del Monte, Big Heart Pet Brands and C&S Wholesale Grocers. Now he is directing his focus to helping people identify their dream careers and navigate toward them. He is author of “Careers Unleashed” .