What’s Next: A Major League Approach to Career Advancement
What is the one thing you could do to strengthen your current performance and take the next step in your career advancement
David Cox | September 24, 2019
Do you “plan” or “campaign” for career advancement?
Since starting ThirdPartyBlogger.comThirdPartyBlogger.com, I’ve had the privilege of writing SEO content for a variety of businesses and organizations. In speaking with staff and management level employees, I still find that career advancement is a topic of deep interest. I’ve observed the following:
- Some individuals proactively prepare themselves for the next step in their career advancement. As a result, they don’t need to “campaign” for promotion because they’ve already positioned themselves among those who are ready.
- Unfortunately, too many people wait and “campaign” for promotion once an opportunity is available. Still, they give surprisingly little thought to the scope of responsibilities in that position. Additionally, there’s always a chance that a promotion could be detrimental to their long-term career goals.
- Some fail to demonstrate value in their current position. If so, why should management consider these individuals for advancement?
How hard are you willing to work to achieve your goal?
A good baseball player
A few years ago, I heard a story about Mitch, a young baseball player. Mitch had made it to the Major Leagues and was about start his third season. He had the talent and worked hard every day to be a good baseball player. He felt good about his contribution to the club during his first two years in the majors.
Undeniably, Mitch’s career was off to a good start. He was a reliable right fielder with a strong arm and a solid hitter who batted around .280 against Major League pitchers. Though successful, he had not yet made the starting lineup. As such, he was concerned that the organization might trade him to another team. In that event, he would have to uproot his young family.
One day, Mitch’s hitting coach, Spud Carson, sat down with him to talk about his career. Carson said, “We all feel that you may have the ability to be a success for yourself, the team, and the entire organization.”
Obviously, the coach had the attention of the young ballplayer. He pulled out a yellow pad to go over the numbers and said, “I want to help you achieve that success if you’re willing to work with me.” Mitch smiled and said, “I’m ready to go! What do you want me to do?”
The next step
Carson looked him straight in the eye and said, “You need to get one extra hit every nine games.” He went on to say, “If you can get one extra hit every nine games, you’ll increase your batting average from .280 to .310. That will secure your career with this club and your future in Major League Baseball.”
The coach explained that a .310 batting average would place him near the top of the batting order. It would also incentivize team management to keep him with the organization. However, his better performance would also attract the attention of teams contending for the playoffs.
The competition between teams seeking to sign him could increase his salary as much as $10,000,000 each year. Undoubtedly, he would also attract endorsement opportunities, which could boost his earnings substantially.
An honest guarantee
Mitch was astonished and replied, “All I have to do is get one extra hit every nine games? It can’t possibly be that simple.” Carson assured him, “It’s not. You’re going up against some of the most talented pitchers in the history of the game. I guarantee the toughest thing you’ll ever do is getting that one extra hit every nine games.”
How proactive employees achieve career advancement
Advancement opportunities will always be competitive. Therefore, I recommend the following plan for your career advancement. I base this recommendation on my observations of numerous successful employees in a variety of organizations.
- Identify the next step(s) in your career advancement
- Prepare for your next step while increasing your value in your current role
- Commit yourself to listen, learn, work hard, and achieve your goal(s)
What are you going to do?
You may think, “I don’t want to waste time on a career plan that may change.” My answer: You can always change your plan. If you don’t have a plan, you’re merely “hoping” for an opportunity. I guarantee you’re going to miss many opportunities if you choose to base your career advancement on “hope.”
I admire those who have mapped out the logical steps of their career progression. These individuals are eager to learn and ready to apply their knowledge. They don’t waste time, nor do they miss opportunities. They’re already preparing for their next role. Moreover, management already knows they’re doing their best work in their current position today.
The critical question for you is: What’s your next step—that “one extra hit” you need for your career advancement?