What is Your Career Doing for Your Company?

Photo illustration by Dreamstime.

By Patty Azzarello

One of the things many people overlook is that taking care of your career is actually good for your company.

Think about this way: If you are doing great work, you will make some progress and get some rewards.

But if you optimize for your career AS you do great work … You’ll tune your work to have more impact on the business. You’ll share it so it’s visible to stakeholders. And you’ll make connections with people who can support you. All of these things are specifically good for your career.

But they all also help you get even better at your job. When you do them you will deliver even more relevant, great work for your company.

How important is your job to your company?

You need to understand how much value your job adds to your company. If it isn’t highly valued, don’t look for ways to posture or pretend it is.

Face reality. Become more relevant. Find out what your company truly values, and tune your job over time to make your work more relevant, and to have a bigger impact on what the business cares most about.

This is vitally important for your career, AND valuable for your company.

Your company and your career are both waiting for you to step up.

Your career development is up to you

If want to get ahead, you need to take charge of making it happen. Don’t expect your manager or your company to do it for you. It just doesn’t work that way. Don’t wait to be helped or discovered.

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The people who get ahead are the ones that take their career development into their own hands.

How to take more control of your career

You need to keep three kinds of effort in mind, if you want to build genuine value into your career and the business.

  • DO Better: Make sure your work has enough impact on the business. Understand if it does. Tune it if it doesn’t. Make yourself less busy. Give yourself time to think so you can work more strategically. Refuse to burn up so much time on things that don’t matter.
  • LOOK Better: Don’t be invisible. Share your work with the people who count. Build your credibility. Be more relevant to others. Don’t just have good ideas, sell them!
  • CONNECT Better: Make sure you are always building a network of support for your work and your career. Get mentors. Grow your network in a personal and authentic way.

Waste less time. Get somewhere.

I love to help people do this. I love to see people waste less effort and get more satisfaction and payoff from their work.

It’s important to me to offer people the kind of support that I was so lucky to get as I was building my own career. That’s why I write this blog.

Also, to that end, I wanted to let you know that I am only able to do one of my public Career Building Workshops this year.

So if you want to take advantage of it, this is your chance. It is on October 28 in San Mateo, California.

This article was originally published on Patty Azzarello’s Business Leadership blog.

Patty Azzarello is the founder and CEO of Azzarello Group. She's also an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/business advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35, and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk). You can find her at patty@azzarellogroup.com .