A Leader’s Advice on Career Advancement in 2019

What does it take to get career advancement in 2019? Here is my best career advice based on my 33-years in high tech.

Kevin Benedict’s 14 Strategies for Career Enhancement:

  1. Become the Expert – Create opportunities to be recognized by your employer’s leadership team. Become an expert in your field.  Experts get recognized for their contributions by their communities, industries and employers. Be the person that has read more books, studied more industry reports, attended more training classes and networked with more experts.  Become THE expert.
  2. Contribute Content – Product, marketing and sales organizations are always desperate for more content – content that informs, educates, influences, advises and explains. If you contribute content that helps different departments achieve their objectives you will be a hero in the company.
  3. Build a Network – As your network of contacts grows, so will your insights into more industries and businesses, trends, sales and career opportunities. Don’t be lazy and make excuses to not be on LinkedIn and other business oriented social media platforms. It’s important to your career.
  4. Generate Leads – All for profit companies want more qualified leads. If you bring qualified sales leads to your company via your network and industry contributions, they will be VERY impressed!  Find ways to be active in your target markets.  Attend industry events, meet potential customers, contribute to online discussion groups, publish “how to” articles, etc., all for the purpose of creating more opportunities for discussions.
  5. Research Strategies – Purposefully look for and research ideas and strategies successfully applied in different industries, markets and geographies. Study a wide variety of use cases, and ask yourself how they could be abstracted and applied in your company.  Genius is often the reapplication of an existing idea or strategy in a new way.
  6. Understand Organizations, Systems, Industries, Markets, Processes and Frameworks – In today’s fast changing world it is highly likely you will change jobs, industries and careers routinely. The best way to prepare for the unknown is to understand how organizations, industries, markets and companies operate.  With this understanding you can quickly fit into new environments and roles.
  7. Innovate – Be the innovator not the resistor. New investments and growth rarely come from legacy environments.  Be the person studying the latest technologies, trends and strategies.  Find reasons to support new innovations, business models and strategies, not excuses to resist them.
  8. Share – Having a brain full of knowledge and expertise is wasted unless shared and applied. Be the person always willing to teach, mentor, contribute and apply.
  9. Be Enthusiastic and Positive – Be the person always eager to help, and always looking for new ways to succeed, improve and to meet team objectives with a positive attitude.
  10. Personal Development – Education and experience might open doors, but having the right tools in your pockets are required to advance in your career. These tools include things like learning to write and type well, speak in public, write a business plan, organize a meeting or corporate event, and the expert use of software solutions from Google, Microsoft, Apple, Zoom, Webex, Slack, social media platforms, etc.
  11. Be Disciplined – Success is most often the result of purposeful living and working. Purposeful means you make choices about what to sacrifice, and what to invest in in order to achieve a goal or objective.  It also means identifying and practicing concepts, principals and rules that contribute to success like education, responsibility, commitment, dedication, hard/smart work, honesty, loyalty, positive attitudes, teamwork, leadership, dependability, organizational skills.
  12. Build Confidence – Confidence has a big impact on a career. Many a person chooses lesser roles and lifetime earnings as a result of a lack of confidence.  How do you replace a lack of confidence with an abundance?  You invest in the right knowledge, experiences, skills and tools.  When you have these things – confidence comes easy.
  13. Make a Personal Business Plan – Treat your career and money-making potential as a personal business. Make a business plan.  Give it a name.  Make investments in the business-of-you to generate more profits. Market yourself and your abilities like a product.  Regularly develop new products.  Find the markets that most need your products and are willing to pay the most for them.  Develop a personal brand, and look for ways to enhance your brand and brand recognition.
  14. Drink from the Fountain of Eternal Youth – Explore, discover, celebrate, cheer, take risks and embrace change. Purge grumpiness, cynicism, skepticism, bitterness, pride and jealousy – they are poison to the soul and career.  It’s not age that disqualifies most from advancement, but a poisoned soul. Take naps!  Smile, teach, build, lead and charge ahead with enthusiasm!
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Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as a futurist in the Future of Business group at Tata Consultancy Services. He is an optimistic futurist, and passionate advocate for using technology for social good. He writes and speaks globally on emerging and disruptive technologies, business strategies and marketing trends. He loves building teams, innovating, designing new strategies and winning. He is curious and loves communicating complex concepts and evangelizing best practices. He hosts a variety of online tv channels where he has interviewed hundreds of executives and thought leaders on industry trends and emerging technologies. He loves writing, is a social media expert, SAP Mentor alum, current SAP Influencer program member and global speaker on the deeper strategies of business and technology transformation.

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