Excel Where You Are

Thursday, April 18, 2013 (originally posted March 22, 2011)

Often times, when people are seeking a career change or a promotion, they are so focused on the next thing that they forget about their current role. Excelling in your current role is a critical factor in determining whether you will move to the next one.  And, sometimes we get so caught up in what’s next, we forget the importance of what’s in front of us.

In order to get ahead, it is essential to not only perform in your current role but excel in that role.  How do you do that?  First, ask for feedback on how you are currently performing.  Talk to your manager, your mentor and your trusted colleagues.  Get an honest assessment of how you are doing and then strive to do better.  By striving to do better, I mean setting stretch goals for yourself. To excel means to shine and surpass the “norm” so, you want to not only achieve your current goals but also surpass them.  For example, if you are in a sales role and have a goal to increase last year’s sales by 10%, set a stretch goal of 15%, or even more. Then you are excelling and demonstrating that you are ready for that next level position.

Excelling in your current role is also about your attitude.  You must perform with enthusiasm and continue to be eager to learn new skills.  This means taking on the extra assignment or project that will enable you to get more exposure or to hone some of your skills.  Taking on extra tasks and projects, mastering current skill sets as well as beginning to learn new skills demonstrates your versatility.  It also demonstrates your ability to successfully learn new things while performing beyond expectations in your current role.   When you excel in your current role, opportunities open up for you.  You begin to get noticed and before you know it, that new assignment or promotional opportunity is presented to you.

Although it’s important to keep the next level position and next desired career move in your mind and be focused on getting there, it’s even more important to not lose sight of where you are; because excelling where you is what will propel you forward to where you want to be


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