When you gaze ahead into the future, you see yourself ten years older…still stunningly attractive, still surrounded by admiring friends and family, but with a little more wisdom and a larger bank account. And as for the job that supplies your paycheck, you may have a very clear vision of that as well. Maybe you’ll be running your own company. Maybe you’ll be working for your current company, but at a senior level. Maybe you’ll have long since left this place and embarked on a new path or stepped into a new industry altogether. Whatever your vision may be, if you really want to get there in ten years, you’ll get there.But what if you could shorten that timeline to seven years? Or even five? If you’d like to speed up your progress toward an established career goal, keep these moves in mind.
1. Don’t wait for permission.
If you’re waiting for your boss to come over to your desk and tell you it’s time for a promotion, stop waiting. Get up and get moving. Determine the exact steps you’ll need to execute in order to get that promotion and start crossing them off one by one. Don’t sit around waiting to be told that you’re finally good enough, that you finally have the right skill sets, or that you’ve proven yourself. Chances are, nobody will come to you and tell you this—you’ll have to ask. Even better, don’t ask. Just set your sights on the next step and go.
2. Don’t wait for applause.
If you know that you have what you need to take the next step, don’t wait for validation and approval. And by all means, don’t wait for this validation and approval in the form of an award or a ceremony of some kind. If you’re expecting one person (or worse, a crowd) to thank you for your hard work or sit up and take notice of your abilities, stop expecting this. Take the credit that’s owed to you, and if you aren’t getting it from your current company, polish your resume and start looking for work elsewhere.
3. Break your goal into smaller goals.
Attack your goals the same way an ant moves a mountain: one grain of sand at a time. Break your large project down into smaller components, then break each component down further until your path resembles a series of simple, straightforward steps, one after another. Once you set your feet in motion, don’t stop until you get where you’re going. Slow down if you need to…Just don’t stop altogether.
4. Identify role models.
Find as many people as you can who are standing where you’d like to be in ten years. Or five, or even one. Look to those who have already traveled the path you’d like to travel. Take notes on the moves and traits that contributed to their success. Watch closely to see how they get things done. If they can do it (whatever “it” happens to be), then so can you.
5. Identify specific people who can help you.
Role models are one thing, and practical supporters are another. If someone close to you can teach you a specific skill, introduce you to a new contact, or share some wisdom that might help you, be bold and seek this person out. Ask for what you need. And don’t just focus on what the person can do for you—think about what you can do for them.For more on how to accelerate your progress and reach your goals quickly, take advantage of the resume guidelines and job search tools on MyPerfectResume.