In a prior post – Use Your Voice to Advance Your Career, I discussed how powerful your voice can be to advance your career. I discussed how to use your voice by planting a seed and asking for help. Now, I will detail the how by discussing what to ask and where to seek help.
Remember, put a voice to your goals and do not be afraid to ask for help because you just may miss out on a piece of advice that can advance your career and put you on the path from being a worker to a CEO/boss.
WHERE TO SEEK HELP
Finding the help and resources you need for your career can be tricky. Here are some of the resources I’ve used to advance my career which have proven effective. They are as follows:
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a professional digital networking tool. It can be used to find jobs but more importantly it can help you to connect to people who are experts in your field or have your dream job. Use LinkedIn to ask for help by requesting informational interviews.
- Supervisor – If you want to get to the next level at your current workplace, ask you supervisor for advice. Ask your supervisor if they see any barriers in your way such as any skill or experience gap. Ask if your supervisor would be willing to advocate on your behalf and be your sponsor especially if there are certain experiences and skills that you may be lacking.
- Mentors – Mentors are there to help you. Therefore, asking for their help should be second nature.
- Network events – Eventbrite and MeetUp are two websites that can help you to find networking events occurring in your area and/or based on your interest.
- Professional organizations – Join professional organizations based on your interests and characteristics. For example, look for alumni groups for the college(s) you attended or the field you major in. You can also join groups based on the career you want to have or your current profession. Do a Google search for professional groups based on your interests and characteristics.
WHAT TO ASK
There are numerous questions you can ask when trying to get help from others or in trying to advance your career. Be specific in your questions. Gear the questions to your specific field and to where you are in your career. For example, if you know you are trying to transition to a new career in which you have limited skills/knowledge in, look for people with a similar story and background and ask how they transitioned.
Here are some of my favorites.
- Based on what you know of my backgrounds and skills, are there any information, skill, or network gaps I need to be aware of?
- How can I work on closing this/these gap(s)? Any suggestions?
- What strategies did you use to get to where you are and advance your career?
- Did you face any obstacles? What were those obstacles? How did you overcome them?
- What is one piece of information you wish you knew when you were advancing your career?
- It would be an honor to have you as my mentor. Would you be willing to be my mentor?
- If you run across a position that may I qualify for, would you please share with me and keep me abreast?
- Is there someone you recommend I speak to that can provide additional information on _______ (fill in the blank – how to advance my career, how to become a _____)
There isn’t a magic path or set of steps you can take to advance your career. There are numerous resources that can assist you. The paths to advance your career is endless however, as long as you are actively working on advancing yourself (acquiring knowledge, gaining skills) and your career, you are on the right path. Careers in Government is a great starting ground and you can watch this
There are also numerous books such as 10 Key Strategies to Advance Your Career and Women in Government: 10 Key Strategies to Advance Your Career, (written by me) which as the titles highlights discusses 10 crucial strategies that no matter which field you are in are powerful to advance your career and get you on the right path.
Never stop evolving and using your voice because you never which path you will end up on. Enjoy the journey!!