- How about your work environment?
- Are you given opportunities to build your strengths, leverage your skills and grow professionally?
So many talented professionals fall into the “sit and wait” mode.
They have a lot of offer, they can make a huge difference in their companies, but unless they are asked or challenged to more, they sit and wait for someone to ask.
Now, I am not suggesting that you simply ask for more work (especially when you are overloaded) to show that you have handle a heavy load.
What you should be doing is actively seek out new projects, high-profile initiatives, liaison, internal committee opportunities that can benefit from your expertise.
Remember that you have gifts and talents to offer the world. Your current employer desperately needs to use your talents NOW, especially since they are focused on increasing revenue and business growth.
Hmmm….so just what ARE your talents and strengths and how can you leverage them in your current career while raising your personal brand?
Discover Your Hidden Talents
a. What are your professional strengths?
Hint: You are recognized as an expert in that area and your colleagues consistently turn to you for help on those kinds of projects.
Taking a StrengthsFinder assessment and reviewing your last performance appraisal can also give you some great insights
b. How can you capitalize on your professional strengths in your current role?
Hint: You secretly “covet” some of the stretch projects /initiatives that your colleagues have because you would LOVE to be more involved.
c. Can you close your expertise gaps in your current work environment?
Hint: You see where working alongside a seasoned professional on a new project or partnering with a mentor could expand your strengths and expertise faster than taking classes or external training.
Promote Your Talents Within
Ok, now that you have more clarity around your strengths and how your company can benefit, stop keeping them a big secret. Just because certain talents or professional strengths are not being used in your current role, don’t let them go to waste.
If you don’t tout them, then no one will they exist. Start by talking with your direct boss about being a resource/support to ongoing programs and projects…give specific ways in which you can contribute to the project’s success.
Take Continuous Action
Having a conversation with your boss is just first step and it’s just one step. Using your talents is not a one-time deal or one-day project, make it an ongoing effort.
Include strategies in your performance appraisal or add on-the-job learning activities as your path to career growth.
- Pay attention to what is going on in your division, the marketplace, customer base and the company as a whole
- Take note of changes, shifts and trends in your industry and how they affect your company and where your strengths can be part of a solution
When was the last time you spoke up for an unofficial opportunity to leverage and strengthen your talents at work?