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Take charge of your career

February 25, 2012

It takes more than a steady paycheque to achieve true job satisfaction. A corporate culture that you’re comfortable with, a strong peer network, and a realistic plan are all key components of a fulfilling career.

Fortunately, you have the power to achieve the highest professional objectives. Here are some practical tips to show you how:

Communicate with decision-makers.
Don’t keep your career objectives a secret. Instead, schedule detailed, actionable conversations with your manager on a regular basis. Opening the channels of communication will ensure that you know what’s expected of you as an employee, and that you’ve created an agreed-upon course of action for career success, including access to continuing education and mentorship programs.

Find out where you fit in
Are you on the path to an executive position? Or does your job description relegate you to the junior ranks? Sitting down with a manager, career advisor or human resources representative can help you determine your perceived value by a corporation, and where you’re heading.

Devise a plan of action
Don’t just dream of climbing the corporate ladder. Develop a career roadmap that will get you there. Determine what qualifications, training, skills and competencies you need to work your way up through the ranks, and what your company is willing to invest in your progress. 

Chronicle your success
Keeping careful track of everything from daily activities to momentous milestones show more than strong organizational skills. A detailed record of your accomplishments is an important ace up your sleeve when negotiating a raise or promotion.

Do your homework
Is your company on the brink of being purchased by a foreign corporation? Or is your employer the target of a merger? Knowing what direction your company is heading is a prime indication of your career prospects. Be sure to read your newspaper’s business section to stay abreast of key industry trends and happenings.

Network
An after-work drink or quick coffee break is an excellent way to inject some fun into the workplace and strengthen your relationships with co-workers. But that’s not all. Getting to know your colleagues can come in handy if you’re looking to switch departments or job titles.