If you feel “stuck” in your career, it might be time to step back and evaluate how to move it forward. There are several steps in this process, which Martha Delehanty, Senior Vice President — HR Operations at Verizon, recently shared with one of our employee resource groups. Reflecting on her own career, Martha discussed mistakes she’s made, common traps we fall into, and advised attendees to treat every day as a new beginning.
“Remember how you felt on your first day?” she asked. “We’re open and look at everything from a fresh perspective. So let’s take the initiative to get out of our routines.”
Redefine success and reset goals.
Whether you’re on the V Team or looking to get hired, Martha recommends that everyone have a “north star” to work toward. “Otherwise we’ll just keep doing work rather than actually go somewhere,” she says.
“My advice is to stay away from seeking titles and instead focus on what you want to deliver and do. Be really clear about where you want to go.” Most importantly, Martha said, “Align your work and contributions with need.”
Realign with needs.
To determine your needs, both personally and professionally, reflect on the following questions:
- What do I enjoy doing? What would I like to do more?
- Am I doing work the way I’ve always done it? What can I do to make myself even better?
- Where have I been successful? (Projects, jobs, etc.) How do I delight customers?
- What do I need to improve my performance and productivity?
- How does my work impact my team and the organization?
- How am I preparing myself to deliver now and reach my “north star?”
Build a support network.
“It’s important to know what’s being said about you when you’re not in the room,” says Martha, adding, “So ask others what they think about you. Be ready to receive and act on that feedback.”
Think about ways to build more meaningful relationships with others, including managers, teammates, mentors and even friends and family. Connect often to show how you’re growing and working to achieve new goals. In turn, your network will become better positioned to support you going forward.
Remember, at Verizon, we don’t wait for the future, we build it. That goes for careers, too.