Before making a pivot in his career

Most men focus most on providing food, shelter, and security for their loved ones. Career progression is their most important avenue for achieving this. As a king (servant leader), advancing in terms of responsibilities, job titles, and income is most likely something you think about often.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” 

– Henry David Thoreau

Getting that promotion, salary increase, or better High Performance Leadership opportunity elsewhere may not bring you satisfaction if you’re not ready for it. If you’re part of the majority of men seeking to advance in their career, there are some tough questions you need to ask yourself to prepare. Engage in an honest self-analysis to unlock new possibilities and prepare to excel in new roles. Here are 8 key questions you need to ponder before plotting your next career move.

1. What Are My Skills? 

More money is a tempting goal to aim for, but should never be the only consideration in planning career moves. I always advise my clients to prepare for new opportunities by gaining new skill sets or advancing the skills they already possess. 

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.” 

  • Wilbur Wright

When finally ready to ask for that promotion or seek greener pastures elsewhere, critically assess the skills you possess. Assess both your hard skills and your soft skills. 

Hard skills include your knowledge of the job and your technical expertise in handling it. Your soft skills include your ability to manage others, your communication skills, your astuteness at maneuvering through office politics, your empathy, and your emotional stability. 

Your skills assessment will determine whether you are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for your desired roles and the pressures, responsibilities, and temptations that come with it. 

Let’s say you have been paying your dues as an entry-level lawyer at a medium-sized law firm for the past 3 years. You passed the bar and joined the firm with big aspirations of making partner within a short time. If you’re going to move past entry level position, you need to prove to yourself and to others that in the last 3 years you have bridged the skill gap between being a student and being a professional lawyer capable of delivering positive results.  

2. What Do Others Think?

What you think of yourself matters. A lot. But understand, how others see you is important too. It is key to them embracing you as a leader and/or peer. It is important for them to entrust you with important roles and responsibilities. 

“You know, there’s nothing you can do about your public image. It is what it is. I just try to do things honestly. I guess honesty is what you would call subjective: if you feel good about what you’re doing, yourself, if you figure you’re doing the right thing.” 

  • Christopher Walken

Your bosses, supervisors, mentors, and even colleagues play a critical role in determining your future. The good news is, in most settings, people love to give their opinions. Ask for feedback from your boss and colleagues. Find out what they think about how your perform in your job. Ask for suggestions on how to improve. 

Ask direct questions like “What do you think I do well and what do you think I don’t do well in my job?” You can ask over text or email if you feel your respondent will be more open with an impersonal exchange.

A great tool to help with this is a 360 appraisal. It provides a comprehensive insight to how your associates, vendors, and superiors view you. This is incredibly powerful when it comes to getting the buy-in of those around you. It also gives you a frame work to grow from, and illuminates any blind spots you may have.

Get your very own customized 360 High Performance Appraisal and a dedicated consultant to help you streamline your growth and productivity.

3. What Are My Goals?

What do you want to achieve in the new role you’re seeking? It’s also just as important to reflect on what your goal was when you first landed your current position. Did you achieve your goals? Did anything prevent you from achieving past goals? Will those barriers still exist in your new role and how can you overcome them if they still exist?

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. 

Tony Robbins

Set out to establish new goals to match your desired promotion into the position of a High-Performance Male Leader. Make sure you align these goals with the company’s goals. Know how to translate these goals into actionable tasks that bring direct benefit to the company. Know what you intend to accomplish in your tenure and create a well thought out plan to achieve it. 

Click here to request a free copy of our High-Performance Goal-Setting Workbook

4. What Image Do I Portray?

This is very closely related to our second point where we discussed finding out what others think. As a male professional seeking advancement, you need to stop thinking of yourself as just another individual. Think of yourself as a brand. 

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” 

– Seth Godin

Get your very own customized 360 High Performance Appraisal and a dedicated consultant to help you streamline your growth and productivity.

I share with my clients, “A king needs to portray a royal presence even before he’s announced king.” Before embarking on your quest for a promotion, cultivate and portray an executive presence. Adjust yourself to ensure you act and communicate with strength, confidence, and warmth. See yourself in that desired role, the new job or new position, and act accordingly. Like you’ve already been promoted or hired. The intention is not only to let others see you as a perfect choice for that position, but to also prepare you mentally for it.

5. Who’s In My Network

In many cases, it’s who you know that matters more than what you know. Are your colleagues and bosses rooting for your success? Are you part of a professional association or a labor organization? King, I need you to understand that “interdependence reigns supreme”, so you need to build strategic relationships and partnerships, both personal and professional. 

The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work. Marinate on that for a minute.”

Robert T. Kiyosaki

Beyond face to face networks, strategic career mentorship and a positive online presence can work to your advantage. Social sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook can work greatly to enhance your professional profile. Avoid inappropriate comments, racy photos, and NSFW videos on your timeline. Headhunters, future employers, and bosses seeking to recommend you will avoid associating with someone with a negative profile. 

6. What’s My Career Timeline

Do you have a plan for your career? Does the plan cover the time between getting hired the first time to your retirement? It is important to create a career timeline that spells out your desired career moves, determine your income requirements, and as accurately as you can, describe what you’re willing to do to achieve those career goals. 

“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

– Michelle Obama

Some questions to ponder include:

  • Are you ready to move to a new town, city, state, country, continent?
  • Are you willing to put in more hours?
  • Are you ready to work with different groups of people?

7. What Extra Value Can I Provide?

As a growing male professional you need to excel in the art of successful negotiation. The most successful negotiators know how to demonstrate the benefits that the company stands to gain in exchange of the extra pay or promotion you’re requesting. 

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” 

― Albert Einstein

Talk to your manager and show you’ve got what it takes to add value to the company through getting that raise or promotion. If you struggle here, no problem reach out to the High-Performance Male Leaders Association and ask about their certification process in negotiation. This is a skillset that will serve you for the rest of your life!

high performance male leaders association
Gain the unfair advantage. Join High-Performance Male Leaders Association and access the power of better relationships, resources, and revenue.

8. Why Do I Want To Advance My Career

Investing in your human capital can result in a better paycheck or a more satisfying career that better matches your personality type. Before you seize the opportunity to advance your career, ask yourself why this career move is so important to you. 

What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning? Or do you always hit snooze and find it difficult to muster the energy to report on time?

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 

– Confucius

To find out the WHY of what you do, some questions to ponder include:

  • If you could be granted one wish for your workplace, what change would you ask for?
  • If a new management team came in and fired everyone then gave you the power to hire back, who would you retain and who would you dismiss?
  • If you won the lottery and never had to work again, what would need to change for you to consider giving the company your time?

What Next In Your Career Progression?

Once you have done your self-assessment, it’s time to act. Remember King, your choices are entirely up to you. Take responsibility for your progress. Take action. 

Even if you have the best boss who hands you the best clients and high profile tasks, your advancement is still up to you. Even if your parents own the company and retain you on a high salary with no major responsibilities, your advancement lays at your feet. Update your resume, submit job applications, send out a request for references, consult your career coach and mentors, and prepare and go for the job interviews.

CLICK HERE to schedule your free strategy session with experts. Get the results you need for a lifetime of high impact.

That’s all for now King! You got work to do. Fix your crown, rule the day!

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