When it comes to achieving career goals , momentum is the key for women. With all the responsibilities women have outside the workplace — health, family and children to name a few — it is easy to lose focus. The bottomline, however, is if you are committed to your career advancement goals , you can’t afford to wait for someone to recognize your ambition, take you under their wing and develop you. It’s you who has to do it.
So, here are 9 ways by which ambitious women can keep moving forward in their careers:
1. Set your goals: Chalk out your career goals on a blank piece of paper. Put down in writing exactly where you want to be, and what you want to achieve in a few simple pointers. Set specific time frames for each goal; keep the time periods reasonable. You don’t want to overpromise yourself and then under-deliver!
2. Outline the action: Now that you have your main goals in writing, think about the specific steps you will take to reach each one of them. Consider the skills and resources you have at your disposal and maximise their output. Discuss with a trusted colleague all the possible avenues you can explore for this purpose.
3. Make step-by-step plans: Put down a step-by-step plan for each of your goals. Ensure that each plan has a solid foundation and is detailed in its ideas; the more meticulous your plan the higher your probability of achieving your target within the set limit. For instance, you could jot down three pragmatic steps for each of your goals that you can take right now. Focus on what you do well and delegate the rest to those who know better.
4. Create a daily list of ‘things to do’: Make a daily to-do list that aligns with your aspirations. This kind of list keeps your day organised and sets you on the path to achieve your purpose one day at a time. This list should have all the things you can do daily to bring you closer to the full realisation of your ambitions. When you start your day at work, examine what you need to do and jot it all down with deadlines. This is a great way to bring focus and alertness into your working style.
5. Apply the 80/20 rule to your job: Think of your objectives as destinations of simultaneous journeys and your work itself as a long trip you are taking. Constantly ask yourself if you are meeting your own expectations. The 80/20 rule is a powerful tool to go about doing this. Also called the Pareto principle, it states that 80 per cent of results come from 20 per cent of inputs; conversely, the other 20 per cent of results come from the other 80 per cent of inputs. Focus on the things that produce the maximum results to get more things done with minimum effort.
6. Make contacts: Build a network of people who may turn out to be instrumental in meeting your ambitions. Every business contact you make could open up a new doorway in future; through a lead for a job opening or ideas for projects, for instance. People in your network could possibly become employers or customers in future, or usher in opportunities for exciting new avenues. The wider you cast your net, the more your chances of success.
7. Use affirmations: Create positive self-affirmations that bring your closer to your aim. For instance, if your goal is executing incredible projects, write down an affirmation that reads something like, “Every day, I will ideate and execute mind-blowing projects.” For best results, print out the affirmation and read it aloud at intervals during the day for 21 days; it is the number of days it takes to form any new habit.
8. Visualise positive outcomes: Use the tool of visualisation to achieve your targets. Every morning before you start your daily routine, spend 10-12 minutes visualising yourself completing and succeeding in your aims. For instance, if you want to be a project manager, visualise yourself as being one.
9. Prepare for the unexpected: No matter how relentless you are in the pursuit of success, setbacks are likely. What puts a successful career woman apart from the herd is that she is prepared for any eventuality. Think about possible disaster situations you could encounter and have a Plan B ready for each action. Be a corporate chameleon, adapting yourself to any kind of situation, turning challenges into opportunities.