Good career management and planning doesn’t stop the second you’re issued with the security pass for your new job. It’s what got you over the threshold in the first place, but it’s as important as ever that you maximise the chance in your first 100 days to shape and develop your future in (and beyond) the organisation. FindMyWhy explores the importance of your role as CEO of your own career.
Developed by our team of expert psychologists, FindMyWhy is a free online personal purpose project which will advance your understanding of you as an individual, your unique strengths and values, what motivates you and how you are perceived by others; something that we believe is as important when you start a new job as it is when you are looking for one.
The chances are you’ll have had some kind of induction into your new role. Of course, some companies do this better than others, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have joined a company that places at least some emphasis on your early stage engagement with the organisation and team. But make no mistake, the primary purpose of every company induction is to provide you with the tools and information to make you productive and effective in your role as quickly as possible. Note the italics. Your role; not your career. The only person who will really run your career with your best interests and values at heart is you. Welcome to the job title you never realised you had; CEO, Your Career.
So, what does that actually mean in practice. After all, the first 100 days in your new role are full on. There are names to remember, systems to navigate, perhaps even new skills to learn … not to mention the day to day aspect of getting the new job done in the face of all this. But finding your feet (and getting them under the desk) only gets you so far in a new job. If you are the CEO of your own career and you expect to gain maximum success and happiness in your new role and organisation, then career management and personal development are a must-do, not a nice to have. They are also an important constant, and the key ingredients for maintaining the momentum of a successful and fulfilling career.
What Makes A Good CEO?
Like most management roles, the skills of a CEO are transferable. Whether you are directing a multi-million pound consumer brand, leading a small but growing business, or, as in this case, sitting at the helm of your own personal brand and career, the core qualities required are just the same. We’ve cherry picked a few that resonate when it comes to managing your career and making the most of this exciting new chapter in your professional life.
Vision and purpose
The strongest brands, led by eminently successful CEOs, are those whose purpose underpins everything they do. Visionaries don’t start out with planning what they are going to do or deliver. They start with working out what they want to achieve and why it is important. As CEO of your career – in fact, of your life as a whole – working out your why (what is important to you) is essential and should govern every decision you make towards creating a fulfilling and successful future for yourself.
You may feel you’re only just starting in a new job at a new organisation so you shouldn’t be thinking too far ahead and that it is neither appropriate, prudent, nor realistic to define exactly where you want to get to in your organisation. Think again! Proving your worth as a new hire is, of course, critical, but the wider context of your career is no less important and getting what you want out of it will be a lot easier if you’ve defined (and can keep in mind) what that actually is.
Ability to learn from the past
Every experience (good or bad) is a learning opportunity. Maybe you’ve worked for a dreadful boss, but you’ll have learnt key strategies to cope, built resilience and identified, at the very least, what kind of organisation / management style to steer clear of in the future. Perhaps you’ve led a project that was a resounding success – what went well, and how, specifically, did your approach and input contribute to the outcome? As CEO of your career, make sure you reap the benefit from every task, project and experience along the way, so that you don’t repeat mistakes, fall into the same old traps, or miss vital opportunities to shine in the future. As you get to grips with your new role, team and organisation, your ability to draw upon your past experiences will set you apart and stand you in good stead to take control of whatever is thrown your way.
Strong communication skills
A great CEO is inspirational, articulate and authentic. Your ability to emulate these qualities will impact how those around you view you; your peers, superiors and industry influencers. As CEO of your career you not only need a good dose of self – awareness but also the confidence and communication skills to be your own best ambassador. As a ‘newbie’, those first few weeks are packed with meetings and introductions to key contacts. It’s crucial that you empower yourself to create lasting impressions, and articulate your value to the organisation.
Successful CEOs develop strong networks around them and continually build a following. You should do the same in the context of your new role, as you build your personal brand within a new working environment and culture. It’s hard work, and not always fun, but attending industry events, reaching out to new contacts, utilising social media tools, whilst maintaining contact with old business acquaintances will serve this new chapter of your career well. Be the individual who senior management or future employers are keeping an interested eye on and keep your name top of mind for the right reasons. That way, you will find more doors opening for you when the time is right.
The first 100 days are all about defining goals. What will you do, deliver, achieve that will justify your appointment? Keep yourself grounded firmly in reality but set yourself some clear and optimistic goals. Don’t be afraid to challenge and stretch yourself. Setting carefully thought out goals within your first week (and regularly re-visiting them) will ensure that you neither over promise and under deliver, nor allow your first 100 days to pass without measurable impact.
Calculated risk taking
A strong CEO knows when to play it safe, and when to take a risk. It’s never wise to plunge into the unknown without weighing up all the facts and the possibilities, and without some sort of back-up plan or exit strategy in case it goes wrong. Perhaps you’ve been hired to question the status quo, shake things up a little, or make sweeping changes; all of which can prove challenging. Be prepared to weigh up the pros and the cons and embrace a bit of measured risk in your career. But balance that with the need for calculated compromise at times. Choose bold and well researched decisions over knee-jerk reactions.
Look ahead and adapt proactively
Every CEO knows that the best laid plans can come adrift at any point. Likewise, your career may take twists and turns that you didn’t plan for (for good or bad). Everyone hopes for the best in a new job, and that’s usually the case. But be aware that you can’t anticipate and plan for everything. If things go a little off track unexpectedly, it may be necessary to re-align your short to medium term goals accordingly.
Know the importance of getting the job done and doing it well. A CEO who is all vision, but no action or output doesn’t generally lead their brand to success.
Never stop striving for improvement. As your own CEO, knowing what you don’t know is as important as knowing what you do know. If you’re aware of a skills gap in your CV, seek out the opportunity to plug it (attend a course or request involvement in a relevant project). If you know that you need to hone certain soft skills to get ahead, seek guidance (ask for feedback, request a mentor). Your new employer may offer all sorts of opportunities in this regard; don’t wait for these chances to be put in front of you – if you feel you could benefit from something that is not immediately on offer, present a case for it.
FindMyWhy: Take Charge Of Your Future
The organisational chart of your career is pretty short and sweet. There’s one box and you’re in it. That means two things, at the same time. It means you’re the operator, and it means you’re the strategist. Don’t get so absorbed in the former that you forget the importance of the latter. Nobody else will take charge of your future with as much vested interest as you. Be the CEO of your career, and make this new job work for you.
Complete our simple online questionnaire, and FindMyWhy will produce bespoke reports tailored specifically for you, providing insight and professional guidance to influence how you manage and plan your career at every stage of your professional journey.
FindMyWhy will help you to get to know yourself better, to understand your strengths and motivating factors, which can be the difference between having a job and building a career. Complete our simple online questionnaire, and FindMyWhy will produce bespoke reports tailored specifically for you, providing insight and professional guidance to influence how you manage and plan your career at every stage of your professional journey. FindMyWhy is fully mobile and tablet enabled, so you really can do it anywhere, and the reports are yours to keep forever, providing a handy reference guide for the future. Visit our website to read the testimonials from those who have tried it and loved it and to see how you could define the course of your professional and personal life by unlocking your potential and keeping the real you in the driving seat of your career and life journey: www.findmywhy.com
For further support, turn to FindMyWhy, the resource dedicated to helping you to find your purpose in life and craft a career – and a life – that you love. Created by our expert team of psychologists, FindMyWhy starts with a free online questionnaire which drills down to the core ‘you’ and produces bespoke reports to help you to channel and plan your career accordingly, at every stage of your professional journey. FindMyWhy will help you to get to know yourself better, to understand your strengths and motivating factors, which can be the difference between having a new job and building a career. FindMyWhy is fully mobile and tablet enabled, so you really can do it anywhere, and the reports are yours to keep forever, providing a handy reference guide for the future. Visit our website to read the testimonials from those who have tried it and loved it and to see how you could define the course of your professional and personal life by unlocking your potential and keeping the real you in the driving seat of your career and life journey: www.findmywhy.com
Be the boss of you. Take control of your future and take charge of your career with FindMyWhy. You won’t look back.