Do you have the right mindsets to sustain and advance your career? I’m writing a new book for employed folks who want to increase visibility and promotability (is that a word?) by applying the core concepts from Seal the Deal internally in their organization. Here’s a sneak preview, and I’d love your thoughts and comments! Who knows? You may even be a contributor to my new book! If you could wave a magic wand and have whatever you want in your career/job/work, what would you want? What do you dream of that doesn’t seem possible? Is it a promotion? A raise? A more exciting set of projects? A chance to contribute? To be heard? To make a difference in the world? Let me know! Comment below!
10 Critical Mindsets to Seal the Inside Deal:
1. Leadership is critical to advancing your career. If you are not leading your career and paying attention to your own advancement opportunities, why should your boss or anyone else be your champion? Have you felt passed over for a promotion or wondered why your boss didn’t showcase your work to the CEO? Are you waiting for someone else to recommend you to the Board or highlight your achievements to the team of decision-makers who determine career ladder moves? You must be the leader of your own career. To that end, becoming a student of leadership, regardless of your position of authority or lack thereof in your company, is a mindset that will serve you in moving yourself up the ladder.
2. Authenticity is about being yourself and being true to yourself throughout your career. Integrity, honesty, knowing what matters, and aligning your actions with your commitments is all part of getting noticed. There will be no shortage of mentors and advice-givers who tell you that to be advanced to the C-suite you need to do certain things, act a certain way, or be more like somebody else. None of this is true. You simply need to be the best YOU you can be, and that means realistically assessing your strengths, knowing your unique value proposition (what can you contribute), and reveling in being yourself.
3. Self-Awareness is about owning your power, which is a key piece of the self-mastery puzzle that distinguishes a great leader from an exceptional leader. There are always areas of ourselves that we are blind to (that we don’t know we don’t know about ourselves), or that we cannot see from our point of view. Cultivating and increasing your self-awareness will give you the vulnerability and resilience to stand your ground when you know you are right and to step back and learn with a beginner’s mind when you uncover one of your blind spots. Coaches are extremely powerful partners in improving your self-awareness by holding up a mirror and allowing you the safe place to reflect upon potential blind spots and exercise and strengthen new muscles in vulnerability.
4. Self-Confidence is also something that coaches are great at helping you master. In any kind of economy, whether it’s a bear market or more bullish, self-confidence is important to your success. Here’s a quick and easy test of your self-confidence level. Stand in front of your bathroom mirror and look yourself in the eye. See if you can genuinely connect with the person you see in that mirror. Is extended eye-contact awkward? Is speaking to that person painful? Can you look into that person’s eyes and see their soul? When you can unconditionally love, accept, and connect with that person, you are well on your way to confident!
5. Generosity/Transparency: Generosity is not simply about giving money or gifts, because in many situations that would be considered unethical business activity (like bribes). In this case, generosity is about a spirit of giving and a focus on helping others to succeed without a tit-for-tat mentality. Generosity can be about listening impactfully to another, and it can be about being a Go-Giver. Transparency is about not having any hidden agenda whatsoever, and about sharing everything with those around you in service to a common goal or higher purpose.
6. Indispensability is one way to keep yourself employed no matter what’s going on in the company or the world. Become critical to the future of the company. Connect your actions and results to the key objectives of the organization, and be sure to be visible about doing so! Are there more efficient processes and systems that could subsequently result in cost savings for the company? Lead the charge…become branded (known for) doing something important for the company that nobody else currently does.
7. Networking is a topic I could write an entire book about. But for the purposes of a short blog post, this is the crucial element of your career whether applied internally or externally, whether you are self-employed or employed. The most powerful vehicle for networking both inside your company and out in the world is the Informational Interview. It’s the fastest, most effective way to get a roadmap of how to best navigate the political landscape of your particular organization. Of course, keeping in mind the Nine Mindsets of Networking is important, too!
8. Marketing is not something you tend to think about with respect to your job unless you are in a marketing role in your company. Marketing internally is about increasing your visibility, whether through volunteering efforts, through internal informational interviews, or by strategically targeting the most influential players and building coalition with them.
9. Sales inside? No, I don’t mean the cliche of selling yourself. That’s not useful. Nobody is buying YOU. They are buying the promise of what results you can produce. In that sense you are selling a relationship. You are selling trust and confidence in your ability to have positive business impact. This requires a clear and compelling offer, a baseline ability to impact the business results that matter most, and metrics to prove it!
10. Integration is about pulling it all together. It’s not sufficient to operate from only one or a few of the above listed mindsets. All must be working together in concert to seal your success. The surefire way to be a rockstar in your own career is to be uniquely you, own your voice, and master integrating the mindsets discussed here as applied to your particular job and circumstances. This is about using your own personality and strengths to skyrocket to the highest level of influence and impact you dare to dream possible!
©2008 Suzi Pomerantz. All rights reserved.