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Are you wasting precious career acceleration opportunities

 By

Kim Meninger - Expert Author

Personal Business Skills Articles
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10/09/2012

If you are committed to career advancement, you must be willing to take important steps to achieve your goals. One critical career development strategy, which many professionals neglect, is building relationships with executives. To reach higher levels of the organization, senior level managers need to know who you are and what you have to offer. If you donít take advantage of opportunities to pursue these relationships, you are doing yourself and your career a disservice.

If you havenít begun to do this, the process can feel intimidating. Common fears include: What will I say? Will I be bothering someone? How will my manager feel? These are perfectly natural, but donít let them stop you! In order to advance your career and achieve your professional goals, you will need to step outside your comfort zone.

Here are some opportunities you may want to consider:

Engage executives in meetings: In meetings these days, itís very typical to find professionals paying closer attention to their mobile devices than the presenter. If there are high-level executives in your meeting, this is a wasted opportunity.

Rather than check your email or text messages, find ways to engage in the discussion. Make eye contact and visibly express your interest. Contribute your insights or ask thoughtful questions. If there is an opportunity at the end of the meeting, take a moment to introduce yourself.

Use travel opportunities to build deeper relationships: If youíre traveling with an executive, you often have time to talk in much greater depth about your role, your work activity, and even your personal interests. Take advantage of these opportunities!

If you have a group dinner, take a seat near the executive and make an effort to engage him/her in conversation. You might also have opportunities to talk on the flight, or at the airport. Perhaps you can share a cab to the hotel or the office.

Schedule an information session: Most executives want to help high potential professionals to be more successful. In my corporate career, I regularly scheduled 15-30 minute meetings with executives to learn about their career paths and seek their advice on how to achieve my professional goals.

While every executive is different, I never encountered resistance. As a matter of fact, everyone I ever met offered invaluable insights, many of which I carry with me today.

Most professionals fail to take advantage of these opportunities. Theyíre either not serious about career advancement, or they allow uncertainty and fear to stand in their way. Because so few people reach out to executives, particularly early in their careers, your efforts will more than likely differentiate you from others.

When you see an opportunity, take a deep breath and step outside your comfort zone. With each step, youíll gain the confidence to take greater and greater risks. And, most importantly, youíll achieve greater levels of career success!


About the Author

Kim Meninger works with professionals who are feeling stuck in their careers, struggling to reach higher levels, or navigating challenging career transitions.  Kim helps professionals clarify their career vision, identify career options that best align with their skills and interests, and apply job search strategies to more quickly and effectively find new opportunities and achieve their unique career goals.

Prior to coaching, Kim had a highly successful corporate career managing strategic business partnerships at EMC Corporation and Monster Worldwide.  She attributes much of her success to her strategic approach to career management.  Kim is passionate about helping other professionals use similar strategies to reach their full potential and maximize their career success.

Kim is a certified career coach and founder of Great Heights Coaching.  She has a BA in psychology and an MBA with a concentration in organizational leadership from Boston College.  She also holds certifications in career and life coaching from the Life Purpose Institute.  Kim is a CCE Board Certified Coach and an authorized facilitator of Now What?ģ, a Life Blueprint program.  For more information, visit www.GreatHeightsCoaching.com.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-03-04 09:01:11 in Personal Articles

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