Don’t miss the opportunity that might be right in front of you

BY: Miranda Leurquin, VP Human Resources & Recruiting, MOSAIC

Being in HR and recruiting, I often hear potential and current employees talk about wanting more opportunity to develop and move their career forward. As often as I hear this, I see these same individuals let the opportunity to prove themselves pass them by. Why does this happen? Frequently it seems that many employees believe that an opportunity must be presented in a structured way or offered up to them. Typically this is not how it works and time after time I see people miss big opportunities because they believe it should or will look a certain way.

If you are looking to prove yourself and move your career forward, here are a 5 simple tips:

  • Problems = Opportunities. See a problem? Look for or offer solutions to fix it. Once you make progress with small wins, look for opportunities that involve solving a complex and ambiguous problem. Business leaders want and need individuals that will jump in and tackle the messy projects. Even if you are not in a leadership role, this is a great way to show your stuff and get noticed for the right reasons.
  • Don’t Sweat Titles. At the end of the day, people always notice those who jump in, help out and who are making things happen. True leaders don’t lead with a title and are able to influence with or without the title. If you look at everyone around you as your client it removes the boundaries titles can sometimes create.
  • Be Patient. Rarely do the real world realities line up with 5 year career goals. Understand that it takes time but by doing the right things and working hard you will get noticed. Don’t get frustrated if you get passed up for a promotion, use it as an opportunity to focus on what areas you need to work on so you are the front runner the next time around (there will always be another opportunity!)
  • Find a Mentor. Look for someone who is respected and trusted within your organization. Ask this person if they will coach you and provide you with positive and constructive feedback. Word of caution; if you ask for feedback, open your heart and mind and really listen to areas where you have opportunities to improve. Leaders notice employees that take feedback well and apply it.
  • Take on an Attitude of Gratitude. As simple as it sounds, it really makes a difference if you approach people and problems with a positive attitude. Approaching every day and each situation with an attitude of gratitude can help shift your perspective from negative to positive and will positively influence those around you. Take a step back and ask if you are adding to the problem by complaining about it or if you are part of the solution by doing something about it.