Feel like you’re in a career rut? It happens. Here’s the good news — you can do something about it. Instead of immediately looking on job sites or jumping ship, think about how you can grow your career internally.
Here are five ways you can take initiative in your career development:
1. Become an expert in your current role.
Before you add more to your plate, master your purview. Are you truly a subject matter expert? If so, train others on your area of expertise to highlight your skill set and value.
2. Develop your network.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Relationships matter. So it’s important to invest time in the people around you. Whether they’re your friend, teammate, mentor, role-model or manager, take them out for a coffee or walking meeting to pick their brain and solicit advice.
3. Create a development plan.
Like most things in life, the more intentional you’re about your development, the more likely you’ll actually achieve it. Do some soul-searching and start with a brainstorm: What’s your dream job? What steps do you need to take to become a qualified candidate? Once you have your North Star, create a short-term and long-term action plan and timeline with your manager. Identify areas for growth and stretch goals or projects to fill in knowledge gaps.
4. Expand your current role.
Look for ways to expand your skill set and stay ahead of the curve. Whether it’s online learning, job shadowing or raising your hand when someone needs help, become a utility player. Push boundaries and expand your responsibilities. When you add new activities, step outside your role and go above and beyond for others, you’ll identify new areas where you can bring value to your team or the company.
5. Foster your personal brand.
Your reputation is your most valuable career asset — credibility, visibility, personality and style all make up your personal brand. How do your colleagues perceive you? Are you someone that people want to work with? Spend time thinking through your own value proposition and position yourself for success.
LimeMates who’ve taken initiative in their development at Limeade:
“Every once in awhile you encounter new things you’re curious about but not quite sure what to do about it. Restrictive environments tend to build walls around teams to keep them locked in. Supportive environments (like Limeade) allow you to work with other teams and learn more about passions you may choose to pursue. Then they support you during and after transition to make sure you have the tools to succeed. Pursuing passions has a huge positive impact on productivity and innovation. Turns out — Anything is Possible” — Sergey Goruk, data engineer
“Limeade is dedicated to your growth, and all you have to do is make sure the company knows where you want to grow!” — Lia Marley, business process manager
“Limeade has always seen me for what I can offer, even when that transcends a traditional function within the company. Being willing to work with someone like me, who in a lot of ways, doesn’t fit neatly into one of those boxes, was a leap of faith for Limeade. I’ve grown a ton professionally as a result, and Limeade has benefitted too. My contributions have made a difference here, and I’m a very loyal, engaged employee and evangelist of Limeade.” — Lora Kerns, director of working better together
“Take action! Have open, honest conversations with your manager about what you want to do. If you feel like you aren’t making headway, keep working hard and stay positive. People will notice your determination and hard work.” — Tenessa Lochner, demand gen manager
“Way back in 2010, I began my career at Limeade as the first “Support Guru” on our team. As the ninth employee in the company’s history, the job title didn’t exactly do the position its full justice. While handling support emails, I had an opportunity to learn a multitude of roles — often out of necessity. Account manager, RFP writer, marketing guy, product configuration specialist, and part-time developer were among the various positions I was able to fill on an ad-hoc basis.
The chance to broaden my skill set during Limeade infancy gave me a great deal of versatility as we continued to thrive and mature into what we’ve become. As a result, I embarked on a career path that has taken me from Support Guru, to Account Manager, to a role that I was able to craft and develop with the help and support of leadership, Product Specialist.” — Alex Akita, product specialist
“Patience is hard. Find side projects that give you energy and fuel your engagement.” — Lindsay Gates, demand gen specialist
“I am now in a role that I’m undoubtedly engaged in. Some days I find myself thinking: How cool is my job? What brought me to this incredible opportunity was putting people first. I consciously spent my first couple months with an active ear to hear: What do those around me need? I voiced what I heard and then built relationships to show I was right to fill that gap, and Limeade listened and made it happen.” — Lauren Ferguson, inclusion and development manager
Passionate about career development? Check out “The Quest for the Perfect Job” by fellow LimeMate, Courtney Jenkins.