If you are trying to get ahead in your career, you know it takes persistence. Work can often feel like a grind. Five days a week. Eight, nine, ten hours a day. Meetings, calls, reports, and more. But “just showing up” isn’t any way to get ahead.
More importantly, you can’t count on moments of high performance to get ahead; a career is a marathon not a sprint. So sticking with things through the inevitable highs and lows is critical. And there’s no better way to do that than to keep track of the steps you want to take that will lead you to success.
There’s no shortage of career advice out there, so our advice is fairly simple: make sure that you apply it! Here’s a few examples of ways that you can use basic tracking to make sure you keep yourself moving. Do these, and we’re sure you’ll be promoted in no time!
Steps to Take
- Schedule time to complete one key task tomorrow. First thing’s first: get the essentials out of the way. Before you leave the office each day, figure out what the one most essential thing is for you to do tomorrow and block off the time needed on your calendar. Tomorrow your goal is to follow through and do it again! This is simple, but if you have a tendency to procrastinate on things, this is a great way to keep yourself accountable!
- Make one networking outreach each week. One thing we all learn as we get older: it gets harder and harder to keep up with anyone outside your immediate family. And while we understand that, there are limits. If you don’t stay in touch with parts of your professional network, they’ll revert from friends to acquaintances and acquaintances to strangers over time. But preventing this is not hard, it just requires a bit of maintenance. Choose what method works for you, but one way to do that is to just ensure you make one outreach to someone each week. Set a reminder and set a goal to keep this going.
- Spend 2 hours per week learning a new skill or concept. Most jobs do become routine after a certain period of time. And it is easy to fall into the trap of being comforted by that. But if you don’t keep growing, new skills can become intimidating. So an easy way to counter that is to make sure that you make some progress learning each week. The best part is, it doesn’t really matter what the topic is! Make it related to your field, or a new skill that you are interested in. Just be sure to block off some time for it and keep it going. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn after even a few months of doing this.
- Clear your inbox by the end of the week. Imagine if you could start each week with an empty inbox? Does it sound too good to be true? All you need to do is make sure you end the week with an empty inbox. Set this goal and ensure you do whatever it takes to clear out your inbox Friday, and see how long you can keep this streak going.
- Write an entry in your work journal each week. Work journaling is a habit that many executive coaches recommend, and it’s easy to see why. Doing this is pretty simple: writing down what you did, how it went, and something you could do better. Not only is this great for reflection and keeping a [growth mindset], it’s really helpful if you are ever preparing for interviews so that you can speak in detail about the work that you’ve done. Set a goal to do this each week, and you’ll have rich details about your work and reflections about how to take it to another level.
And One More Thing
These are some general steps, and far from the only ones. So make a list for yourself of some routines that you believe are essential for what you want to do.
But our advice then is to make sure that you are tracking them! Here’s an example of what that looks like in WeAchieve, with an added perk that the work journal is embedded as well!
So what are you waiting for? Set some steps for you to advance your career and get started today!