Recently, I was inspired by a very moving speech that I thought related well to how we can each take charge of our own careers. No, this wasn’t a speech given at a human resources symposium or even a speech by a motivational speaker. This was the speech given by Alex Borstein when she accepted her Emmy Award for her role The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
In her speech, Borstein told the moving story about how her grandmother – a holocaust survivor – was lined up in front of a firing squad. But rather than waiting for the inevitable, her grandmother made the brave decision to step out of line. As a result, her life was spared.
As the crowd applauded, Borstein concluded her speech by saying “So, step out of line, ladies. Step out of line!”
The point is, that sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and step out of the line. And this is certainly true when it comes to advancing your career.
Here are five ways that you can step out of line as it were, and take control of your own future.
1. Deliberate professional and personal development.
It is said that a goal is just a dream until you write it down. Take some time to think about what you really want out of your career and then develop a written plan to help you get there. What courses do you need to take? What books should you be reading? What podcasts should you be listening to? And remember, you need to develop yourself personally as well. Do you need to enhance your creativity? Consider taking an art class. Do you need to gain more control over your emotions? Consider taking up meditation or yoga.
2. Find some mentors.
As amazing as taking courses and reading books can be, they can’t replace being able to talk to people who have already been where you are trying to get. Find mentors who have already done what you are trying to do – ideally, you should look for people that would be willing to meet with you on a regular basis and who are willing to provide you with feedback and advice.
3. Get out and network.
Making connections and building relationships with others in your field is one of the best ways to advance your career. Remember though that networking is a two-way street and you need to be able to provide as much value to your contacts as they provide to you. Think about how you can add value to someone in your network today. Is there a job you can recommend them for or an introduction you can make that will help them?
4. Let your boss know what you want.
You can’t expect your boss to know what you want if you don’t tell her. Instead, outline exactly what it is that you are looking for whether it’s a promotion, experience working in another department, etc. Just be sure that you are thoughtful about when and how you ask.
5. Embrace opportunities.
Finally, if you really want to grow and excel, say yes to opportunities that will help you do that. This will help to open new doors and position you for advancement.
So, what are you waiting for? If you want to get more out of your career, step out of line and take charge!