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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

5 Steps for Taking Your Career Up a Notch in 2017

Business people in all professions look to move beyond administration and completing tasks in their function to becoming a strategic contributor. Now you just need to figure out how to convince your leadership that you are the person for the job! Taking a road map from my 3rd book Taking Your SEAT at the Table, I’d like to share 5 steps for making that happen for your career!
  1. Show that you are more than just your job description. Don’t wait for someone to change your job description. See what needs to be done and start doing it. You need to know what your manager’s goals are and what’s behind the strategic plan so you can figure out how you can contribute in a way that will get you noticed. Be that person to ask “why” all the time, and then determine how you can best contribute to your organization. If you know what needs to be done, but there are vital skills you’re lacking, consider joining peer-to-peer advisory groups (link to mastermind group page) or a nonprofit board (link to blog on joining a board) to learn things you don’t know—if you want to learn finance, become a treasurer.
  2. Metrics that matter. Is the data you are collecting moving your organization forward? Or are you just tracking what you always tracked? My favorite example from human resources is tracking the number of days it takes to fill a position. Who cares?! What matters to management is the success of new hires – days until they are productive on the job – how long before they come up with their first innovation. That’s what moves business forward, not just filling a seat. Think about what your leaders care about – and what really makes a difference in your business. Then create metrics to ensure you are driving on the same road with leadership.
  3. Inspire with emotion, seal the deal with logic. This is a quote from my #1 power partner – Deb Calvert of People First Productivity Solutions. Deb and I share the belief that you are responsible for building bridges in your organization. They aren’t going to come to you – you need to meet leaders in a place that is meaningful to them. Approach managers and leaders in areas other than your own, and if they don’t seem receptive invite them to lunch. Everyone loves to go out to lunch!  Find out what your leaders care about — it most likely won’t be the color of the ID badge lanyards — and align your communication message with their priorities.
  4. Use vendors to get your job done. Outsourcing is a critical relationship to get day-to-day work off your desk. Many vendors have sophisticated technology and processes to accomplish things that take you hours. Be sure you are using your budget, and your vendors, wisely. Thinking about all your vendors you will likely find many agreements were created years ago. Revisit old agreements to see if they’re still relevant to what your organization needs today.  Determine what you need to get off your desk and be sure you have the right vendor to handle the task. Then hold them accountable to get their job done.
  5. Ambition and drive are visible competencies. Show your leaders that you want additional responsibility and authority. Work smarter, not harder. Constantly evaluate what you do and how you do it. Are there some tasks you can automate or delegate? Then do it. Be a problem solver. If your plate is full, it’s OK to say no, but then find them someone who can. Add value by finding the resources you need to move forward.
Use these tips as your first roadmap to a career that will take you where you want to go. If you’d like to hear a webinar on the topics – completely free – click here!
Lori Kleiman is an HR expert and HR speaker who conducted over 30 seminars in 2016 to business people and HR professionals sharing best practices and new initiatives. If you’d like to have Lori keynote one of her HR presentations at your upcoming event, click here, or email Lori directly at!

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