Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Kevin Benedict's 15 Strategies for Career Advancement in 2019

From time to time people have asked me for career advice. I certainly don't have all the answers, but here is my best advice from 33-years in high tech.

Kevin Benedict’s 15 Strategies for Career Advancement:

1.     Be an Expert - Create opportunities to be recognized by your employer’s leadership team. Become an expert in your field. Experts get recognized for their contributions by their communities, industries and employers. Be the person that has read more books, studied more industry reports, attended more training classes and networked with more experts. Become THE expert.

2.     Contribute Content – Product, marketing and sales organizations are always desperate for more content - content that informs, educates, influences, advises and explains. If you contribute content that helps different departments achieve their objectives you will be a hero in the company.

3.     Carry a Load – Step up and take responsibility for tasks and projects and follow through. The world needs people, and will promote people, that are willing to carry a load.

4.     Build a Network – As your network of contacts grows, so will your insights into more industries and businesses, trends, sales and career opportunities. Don’t be lazy and make excuses to not be on LinkedIn and other business oriented social media platforms. It’s important to your career.

5.     Generate Leads – All for-profit companies want more qualified leads. If you bring qualified sales leads to your company via your network and industry contributions, they will be VERY impressed! Find ways to be active in your target markets. Attend industry events, meet potential customers, contribute to online discussion groups, publish “how to” articles, etc., all for the purpose of creating more opportunities for discussions.

6.     Seek Strategies – Purposefully look for and research ideas and strategies successfully applied in different industries, markets and geographies. Study a wide variety of use cases, and ask yourself how they could be abstracted and applied in your company. Genius is often the reapplication of an existing idea or strategy in a new way.

7.     Understand Systems, Markets and Processes – In today’s fast changing world it is highly likely you will change jobs, industries and careers routinely. The best way to prepare for the unknown is to understand how organizations, industries, markets and companies operate. With this understanding you can quickly fit into new environments and roles.

8.     Innovate – Be the innovator not the resistor. New investments, growth and business expansions rarely come from traditional legacy environments, rather they come from the new and unproven. Be the person studying the latest technologies, trends and strategies. Find reasons to support new innovations, business models and strategies, not excuses to resist them.

9.     Share – Having a brain full of knowledge and expertise is wasted unless shared and applied. Be the person always willing to teach, mentor, contribute and apply.

10.  Be Enthusiastic – Be the person always eager to help, and always looking for new ways to succeed, improve and to meet team objectives with a positive attitude.

11.  Personal Development – Education and experience might initially open doors, but having the right tools are required to advance in your career. These tools include things like learning to write well, speak in public, write a business plan, create and manage a budget, organize and run a meeting, lead a team, and be the person in the room who knows how to utilize business tools, utilities and software solutions from companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Zoom, Webex, Slack, social media platforms, etc. Invest an appropriate amount of time to learn the tools that make you the professional you are.

12.  Be Disciplined – Success is most often the result of purposeful, disciplined living and working. Purposeful means you make choices about what to sacrifice, and what to invest in in order to achieve a goal or objective. It also means identifying and practicing concepts, principals and rules that contribute to success like responsibility, commitment, dedication, hard/smart work, honesty, loyalty, cheerfulness, positive attitude, dependable, kind, ambitious, organized, etc.

13.  Build Confidence – Confidence has a big impact on a career. Many a person chooses lesser roles and responsibilities, and lesser lifetime earnings because they lack confidence. How do you replace a lack of confidence with an abundance? You invest in knowledge, gain experience, develop your skills and collect the right tools. When you have all these things in your possession - confidence comes easy. Go get'em!

14.  Make a Personal Business Plan – Treat your career and money-making potential as a business. Make a personal business plan. Give it a name. Design a logo. Make investments in the business-of-you. Market yourself and your abilities like a product. Regularly develop new products. Know the markets that most need your products and are willing to pay the most for them. Develop a personal brand, and look for ways to enhance your brand and brand recognition.

15.  Drink from the Fountain of Eternal Youth – Explore, celebrate, cheer, invent, take risks, be curious and embrace change. Purge grumpiness, cynicism, skepticism, bitterness, pride, resentment and jealousy from your life and place of work – they are poison to the soul and career. It’s not age that disqualifies many older people, but poisoned souls. Take naps. Smile, teach, build, pioneer and charge ahead with enthusiasm!

Tune in and watch my latest leadership interviews on RegalixTV.

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Solutions Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.