iSpeak Blog

How to Highlight Your Potential When Advancing Your Career

Lori K. Kim
Networking - ISPE Pharmaceutical Engineering

As the end of the year approaches, many people are commenting how quickly this year has passed. This time of the year is when we typically reflect on our accomplishments and start strategizing next year’s goals.

Taking proactive actions for our own career development is often easy to forget when we are so busy juggling our workload and personal lives. As great mentors frequently remind us however, no one cares about your career more than you. You need to be actively managing it. Hence, setting goals every year only makes sense for you to continuously drive and manage your career.

What are some key actions to be taken to develop your career goals? First of all, broadening knowledge of your company businesses, functions (or organizations) and their strategies will be helpful in understanding where you want to be in the short term and in the long term.

How do you go about broadening knowledge?

Networking! I have had various mentors throughout my career. All of my mentors put a high priority on networking. Networking has two important benefits:

  1. One is to broaden your knowledge about various aspects of businesses and organizations where you might want to end up in short and long term.
  2. Secondly, networking allows you to broaden the circle of people who know you, your work, and your career ambition. Ultimately this circle of people will become your advocate and supporter of your achieving career goals.

Diversifying roles you take on can be also very helpful in broadening knowledge and becoming a well-rounded professional. Take some risks and jump into things that you have never done before. In my current company, I was able to change my roles on average every three years. In some cases, I was offered to lead an organization that I never thought I would. I have learned so much by moving from one function to another with having to face many challenges and figuring out how to overcome them. Diversifying your experiences will not only broaden your knowledge but will also help you become a more effective leader. You are more likely to be seen as a leader who is ready to drive an organization effectively based on your diversified career portfolio.

Having mentors in your career who can provide guidance and direction will also help in setting and achieving your career goals. Proactively reach out to find and seek advices from your mentors.

I have had various great mentors throughout my career who gave me some great advices. Here are a few key nuggets of advice that have resonated with me from my mentors over the years:

  • Know your strengths and campaign on them
  • Know your weaknesses and have development goals to address those deficiencies
  • Don’t strive for perfection in everything
  • Make a mark in what you do

I always consider these elements when building my career goals.

If you do not currently have a mentor, then my recommendation is for you to make getting one a priority for 2019.

One might ask how do you go about acquiring a mentor for yourself? Well, one easy way is to join a company employee network internally and/or external professional associations.

Speaking of professional networks, Women In Pharma at ISPE is gearing up to launch a mentoring program early next year. I am really excited about this opportunity for the ISPE members.

If you have not yet had a chance to think about your career goals and development opportunities this year, now is the time to reflect and start strategizing your plans. Let’s take actions to get you closer to the job or career you desire to have.

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