The Art of Career Building: Chapter 5 - Career Momentum

The fifth chapter in The Art of Career Building is for when you need new ideas about how to keep your career moving forward.

As you make progress in your career you will find your responsibilities grow. Don’t panic, you handle large responsibilities the same way you handled the small ones. The only difference is how you organize your resources. What’s required is having the right experience and good communications. If you’ve followed Sun Tzu’s advice so far, you only accepted a position of greater responsibility because you had the experience and skills to win it easily. You’re qualified so trust in yourself and that experience. What will change most drastically is how you communicate.

As your career advances, you will face more difficult challenges. You can deal with them without jeopardizing your responsibilities if you correctly use both creative approaches and standard procedures. The more experience you have and cultivate the more it will enhance your ability to create momentum. Look for a new perspective on an issue that eliminates the problem. To do this will require that you leverage both your strengths and weaknesses.

It doesn’t matter what your job is, you handle daily work with standard procedures and solve problems with creative approaches. Being successful in your career requires creativity. If you don’t consider yourself creative, take comfort in knowing that there are an infinite number of new ideas to be had. To be creative all you have to do is use the changes happening all around you. What failed yesterday can be the success of today. The objective is to keep making progress everyday. You can make mistakes and still recover from them simply by learning how to leverage changes over time.

No matter what problem you are considering it can always be narrowed down to just a few key issues that can be examined in any number of ways. Just trust that there is always a way to outflank any problem. No matter what job you have there are only a few key responsibilities yet you can reprioritize them at any time. It’s impossible to exhaust all the ways you can approach the same work. Productivity can be measured in a limited number of ways yet you can combine these basic measurements in any number of ways.

Building your career requires momentum. You do this by using creative and standard procedures to constantly change your approach. Doing this creates a limitless number of ways to highlight your value to the organization.

Creative approaches and standard procedures require the other. If you conceive a creative approach to getting the job done and it works, it will become the standard solution. The fact that you have standard approaches to doing the work makes it possible to do something different and therefore be creative. No solution or procedure works indefinitely. Eventually, even the best approach becomes outdated. Using these two together means you never run out of good ideas for getting things done.

When standard procedures stop working or there is no standard procedure to solving a problem or get the work done a creative approach is required. When you have problems it suggests that your standard procedures aren’t working. Therefore, solving problems requires a creative approach and establishes your capability. This is career momentum.

Successful people seek out more responsibilities and when the timing is right, secure those responsibilities. This is career timing.

In order to be seen as capable and be successful in your job, the momentum you create must be noticeable and your timing exact. When you’re successful in your current job it creates tension that can only be released by seeking out and securing new responsibilities.

The job market is always complicated and confusing for employers and managing people is always difficult. It’s your job to make it easy for people to hire and promote you.

No matter what your job, the responsibilities are often unclear and your role in that job and the organization is always changing. No matter what, you must always make your contribution crystal clear.

When there is confusion in the job market it creates fear for employers. You have to have the confidence to clarify your qualifications and correlate them to the needs of the organization in order to overcome their fears. This is all dependent on your career planning.

Your experience is determined by your career planning and that experience influences your strengths and weaknesses. Use your experience to get the job, promotion, or added responsibilities. If you can’t get everything you want, have the employer meet you half way and once hired seek advancement.

Your career success depends on momentum not just your abilities. You make your abilities more valuable with momentum. Now, use that momentum in your favor.