Your career needs a campaign strategy

Dorrie Clark’s Harvard Business Review Article A Campaign Strategy for Your Career shows how career trajectories can be accelerated by following some of the same principles as a typical political campaign. The main idea is to start with the end date in mind and work backwards from there carefully planning milestones and identifying key individuals that will help get you to where you want to be.

Start thinking about your dream job, or even the job that you want to move into after this one. Now ask yourself what you are doing to make this dream a reality. Do you know what skills or qualifications will be required to both obtain and succeed at this job? This knowledge will allow you to find and analyze the gaps in your skillset and work towards filling them as soon as possible.

It is also important to remember that success is impossible without the help of others. Who can you identify that will help you along the path of career greatness? Identifying solid mentors and decision makers is key if you plan to move up in the world.

Lenny Achan is the poster boy for career campaign strategies. He explains how he was able to move from a nurse at Mount Sinai Medical Center to a senior health care executive in less than 10 years.

“I started prewriting my résumés for the next five or 10 years, so in 2002 I had one for 2012,” he recalls. “I’d list the education I’d have attained, the committees and organizations I’d belong to, what I’d be doing in my free time. I put them all in writing to have a focal point to work toward.”

Waiting to build your future job’s skillset until you are ready to move means that you likely won’t be prepared when the opportunity presents itself. Make sure you are prepared by starting your campaign for promotion today.

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