After attending RecruitFest a couple weeks ago, one session has been echoing in my mind. It was about increasing your influence and becoming a leader, but it also offered great advice about finding your path and being happy. You've probably read articles that say, "Think about what you would you do if money didn't matter..." Well, it DOES matter for most people, so that's maybe not a helpful approach to finding a happier, more fulfilling career. Instead, I'd like to recap some suggestions from successful folks who have proven what works.
Here's the video of the session called "Peddling Influence and Leading Thoughts" from RecruitFest. HRMDirect's Chief Strategy officer Sarah White, Former SHRM COO China Gorman, and Career XRoads founder Gerry Crispin each offer their ideas on how to become an influencer - and really, how to turn your career toward the future you want and reap significant rewards from your day.
First point? Sarah White said, "I knew that in order to get to where I wanted to be, I had to find a job and everything else that would let me be comfortable and let me be me." This one is dead on for me! I work from home and joke with my boss that she's forever ruined me from working in an office. What parts of your job are a perfect match for you? What parts miss the target entirely? What jobs have more of the things you love and less of the things you hate? Can you get involved in projects at your current company that would get your career headed in the direction of one of those jobs?
Next, China Gorman suggests, "Create a track record of success. Create a track record of results, so that when people think of you, they think [he/she] delivers what's promised, delivers MORE than what's promised, delivers more than what's promised quicker and under budget. Create a track record that people can rely on. When they think of you, they think honest, they think trustworthy. They think I can rely on this person in a pinch. This is a go-to person. Create that kind of reputation." This kind of reputation will earn you the chance to be involved in projects to build you up for the job you want.
So...you've figured out where you want to be, you're building your reputation, and you're asking to get involved in new things to get you there. What else? Gerry Crispin talks about focus and active listening as an important component of his own success. "We are really present in the moment, looking at that individual, engaged with that individual in conversation, really getting what they have to say...or not. We may be thinking about the next person we're going to meet or talk to. I do think there is a differentiator there in terms of people who eventually build influence. They're perceived as having the ability to be present." Once you figure out where you want to go, make sure you're paying attention to conversations along the way.
These are things you can start doing this very moment to get to where you want to be. You don't need to go to a fancy training or hire a career coach. These experts suggest that what you need is already in your hands, heart and head. Go for it!