Being in management means you often prioritize the personal development of the individuals on your team and neglect your own ambitions. But doing so can not only impact your own career and affect the morale and drive of those around you.
People often create long-term career goals of where they want to be in five, ten or even 15 years' time, but there are small steps that you can take each day to make the most of your skills and create more professional opportunities for yourself.
Here are 8 ways you can start working on your career progression right now:
1. Read more
Whether it's on your commute or during your lunch break, reading can get you more keyed into industry developments and help you gain a better understanding of the sector you work in. Of course, we're not on about your favorite Dan Brown thriller, US Weekly or even your friends' Facebook statuses, but thought-leadership content relevant to your role.
2. Keep your LinkedIn relevant
You may not be looking for another role, but keeping your LinkedIn profile as up to date and relevant as possible will help you in your current job too. It not only increases your chances of being invited to industry events and speaking with thought leaders but acts as a living CV if you do ever want to move on. With the fast-paced nature of work, many skills and achievements get forgotten by the time you come to sitting down and updating your CV but with LinkedIn it's quick, easy and completely visible.
3. Commit to your own goals
It's likely that you've set goals for colleagues on your team but have you done your own? Not only will this keep you motivated but also helps inspire those around you; seeing a boss lead by example is one of the best drivers for team members to do the same. Make sure your goals are SMART and that you monitor your progress.
4. Schedule device-free time
Oprah Winfrey dedicates her entire Sunday to a technology cleanse, though you don't have to go that far and may prefer to have shorter periods more regularly. This pure downtime where you're away from any tech devices can help you be more productive at work, allowing you to be a more impressive manager. The break will also give you chance to think about your career and what direction you want to take it in.
5. Join a professional organization
As well as being a great way to network and meet like-minded people, a professional organization will give you access to opportunities you wouldn't otherwise be privy to. Whether it's different types of leadership or public speaking, joining such a group can be a fantastic way to boost your skills.
6. Celebrate those around you
Being a manager means championing the expertise of those in your team and by doing this effectively, you're also showcasing your ability to be a great leader. Bosses are never respected for stealing the glory for someone else's work or being overly critical to the professionals they manage, so make the most of these opportunities. You may want to brainstorm new ideas about how you - and the rest of the company - can celebrate talent.
7. Accept you may not like people
A workplace can be a mixed pot of personalities and it's unlikely that you'll gel with everyone. As long as they're not acting maliciously against you, acknowledging the fact that you don't get on with certain people but can find ways to work together professionally will give a massive boost to your career. It's a desirable skill for employers and also means your projects are likely to go more smoothly.
8. Recommend innovation
Investing in innovation is a sure-fire way to get noticed by the right people. It can be easy to go along with things, even if you don't think it's the best way forward, but much harder to think of ways to do things differently. If there's a problem at work, spend time coming up with strategies that could make it better.