Career advice is always valuable, but it’s precious when it comes from someone you admire. I’ve been lucky to receive a lot of both throughout my 25year career at Freddie Mac working with talented, highly motivated and supportive colleagues. I’m also fortunate to work for a company that provides its employees with careeradvancing resources such as counseling, mentoring, and leadership and management training.
Unfortunately, not every company offers their employees these options, and for those that do, not every employee chooses to take advantage of them. So ultimately, it is up to each individual to advance his or her own career. Whether you’re just starting out or a veteran, I’d offer others three things that have worked for me throughout my career. Do your best work every day, learn as much as you can in every position you hold and establish a checkin procedure with yourself to make sure you’re on track with your goals.
This last point is especially important. Consciously set time aside to do this even if you have to put it in your cal endar. By forcing yourself to do this, you’ll think differently about your current position, the daily tasks you’re assigned to and the value you bring to the table. You’ll also find that instead of trying to master your current position 100 per cent, you’ll focus more on what you are learning and how you can leverage your new skills for when the next oppor tunity presents itself. In many ways, it comes down to hav ing a better perspective and keeping perspective. But more importantly, it’ll help you become a wellrounded employee, making you a more attractive candidate for that promotion you’ve been wanting, or even a position with a new company.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take risks, and if you’re not already asking for what you want, start immediately. If you ask, you will probably get what you deserve.