Happy Cinco de Mayo!
This May 5th holiday originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the Civil War, but has morphed into a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.
Luckily, we are not engaged in a civil war, and our freedom and democracy continues. This freedom extends to your career -- you have the freedom to take it anywhere you want it to go!
So, perhaps Cinco de Mayo is a good day to celebrate your freedom to build your career and professionalism. Maybe this is the perfect day to own your career goals, battles, and victories -- and take a closer look at the steps you need to take to achieve greater success.
Let me ask you a few pointed questions that will help get you started on this career fulfillment quest:
- Do you have specific goals for your career? Whether it is getting a dream job, changing careers, or earning a certain amount of money, what are your goals? It's hard to "get ahead" until you decide where you want to go.
- When was the last time you revisited your career goals to see if they needed redefining? Do they still motivate you? Have you achieved your original goals, but failed to set any new ones? It's a good idea to take stock of where you are in your career every year or so. It's OK to change goals, too.
- If you are not exactly where you want to be, do you have a plan for moving forward? Is it specific, including action steps to be completed, or is it general and vague? (I don’t have to tell you which kind of plan that I know will succeed.)
- Have you determined what might be standing in the way of moving toward your goals? For instance, do you need certain technical skills or a degree that you don’t currently have? Are you lacking professional contacts, a network, a mentor or sponsors who can assist you? Do you need better communication skills, leadership skills, or any other kind of soft skills training?
In honor of Cinco de Mayo -- and coincidentally, LinkedIn’s 11th birthday -- consider this blog a virtual push in the direction of achieving your goals. Over the past 30+ years, I’ve seen repeatedly how people can move ahead in their careers -- dramatically so -- once they decide on very specific goals, determine the steps they need to take to achieve them, and take accountability for their own career trajectory.
Aquí está a su éxito! (Here's to your success!)