Career Breakout: Invisible, There is a Cure

“I’ve been working in the same position for close to four years and it seems as if I cannot advance in my career. What do you recommend I do to get recognized as an employee in it for the long haul and one wanting to grow?”

No doubt being recognized as a key player nowadays takes more than simply doing your job well. In such a competitive employee market, you must go beyond the call of duty or get lost in the shuffle or worse, become a victim of “right-sizing.”

Now that you’ve been with the same company for several years, NOW is the time to let your voice be heard in a professional and progressive manner. One of the most effective techniques of career recognition lies with you developing and submitting a one to three year plan. I realize this takes a bit of work on your part but the payoffs could be most rewarding.

Career Tip #1: A formal one to three year proposal can lift you well above your peers.

Last year one of my employers surprised me by providing an in-depth plan detailing steps she would be taking to become a more effective and valuable employee. Part of her plan was to complete her career coaching certification and also to introduce a web-based customer response team. Needless to say, her five-page proposal lifted her head and shoulders over other members in the department instantly.

Following up on her story, within three months she gained her coaching certificate and began coaching clients directly, increasing revenue while decreasing client services wait time. The following year she was promoted to department lead.

Developing and producing a formal strategic plan is not for every position and person but creating mini-career/company projections is something all employees can do. These shorter projections can be as simple as becoming more diverse within the company, for example, learning how to perform duties outside of your realm of expertise or department. Such learning show determination and increases the value you offer.

Career Tip #2: Diversifying your work duties beyond job descriptions gains value and career recognition.

Going back to the original question, I recommend you take a long look at the value you currently offer and what you can do to enhance your position. After writing several ideas down, think of the ways you can add value to the company and merge those thoughts into a formal proposal. Once you have your work proofed for errors (nothing like poor grammar to ruin a picnic), arrange for a meeting with your supervisor where you will submit your plan of action.

By submitting action and results, you are making a strong statement that you are a dedicated employee who is in for the long haul. As an employer, I actively search and promote dedicated and innovative employees, especially those going beyond normal operating standards. Unfortunately with large companies, taking a passive approach rarely gains recognition.

Career Tip #3: Actions you propose to take must be met or the career recognition you seek will not be favorable.

If you would like additional information or assistance in any career-related manner, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email me directly at or visit us at (search Huffman at ecs).

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

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