Velocity is defined as the speed of something in a given direction. It is a function of time that is equivalent to an object’s speed and direction of motion.
The difference between Speed and Velocity is that speed is just how fast an object moves while Velocity is the rate AND direction of an object’s movement.
In your career path, it’s the difference between having a career strategy and not. Knowing the direction you are headed and the speed you are going, you can greatly increase the trajectory of your career path.
Putting small daily habits in place now can increase your growth exponentially later.
Here are some of those habits you can start today:
- Set the direction of your career path.
Decide where you want to go and how you are going to get there. This could mean a specific position level, company, industry, or even geographical area. Take some time to envision where you want to be and then figure out what it’s going to take to get there. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone that’s (currently or in previously been) in that position and ask them what their career path looked like. Ask them if there is anything they wish they had done differently. What skills do you need to master before you get there?
- Develop your Value Proposition.
Hiring Managers, Company Recruiters or Headhunters evaluate your qualifications based on what you can contribute to their company and how you’ll solve their business problems. Most career seekers list their responsibilities and tasks rather than their value to an organization.
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Is your value proposition clear as soon as you look at your LinkedIn Profile? Do your posts reflect the value you bring? If I visit your profile, will I be able to find RESULTS and OUTCOMES? Will I see that you have built a strong network and do you clearly communicate your value as a resource within that network?
- Clean up your resume and use your value statements instead of a chronological list of skills and experience.
Quantify your achievements through statements of how you saved $ or increased $, caused growth or decreased operational expenses. Provide qualitative examples of positive outcomes resulting from your efforts if you don’t have or don’t want to use numbers or percentages.
- Start networking daily.
80% of jobs are found through referrals. Make connections now, and have a plan to truly build those relationships so that when a leadership position comes available, YOUR name comes up first.
- Learn to earn. Develop your soft skills.
Technology is always changing and there will always be something to learn. Take the time to master soft skills like leadership, communication, and conflict resolution so that you can be taken seriously for leadership positions.
- Set SMART Goals.
Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals are more likely to be achieved. It’s important to set goals that make us work hard to reach them, but it’s also important to set realistic goals that can be achieved in a timely manner. We are more likely to get farther by setting smaller SMART goals more often, rather than huge unreachable goals.
- Focus on results.
With a “Value Mindset” you are focused on results, outcomes, and achievements. They show the value you bring the company and people around you.
- Try to always stay ahead of your comfort zone.
If you are trying to speed up the trajectory of your career path, getting stuck in your comfort zone can become a huge roadblock. Challenge yourself by attempting new endeavors, signing up for new projects or networking events.
- Regularly ask for feedback.
It’s important to regularly self-assess as well as ask others for feedback. Keep constructive criticism and work it into your career development plan. Work positive feedback into your value propositions.
- Keep track of your accomplishments. Most people don’t realize how much they have accomplished because they simply don’t keep track. Keeping a curated list or portfolio of your work is not only going to be helpful in future job/position moves but there is a psychological benefit to seeing everything you have accomplished.
- Work with a career strategist. If you are serious about increasing velocity on your career trajectory, then investing in a career strategist and coach is your next move. The return on your investment can be exponential when you consider that your next negotiation could land you an outstanding compensation package.