Are you feeling challenged and passionate…
…or a little stale?
We all have periods of growth and stagnancy in our careers; a certain ebb and flow is to be expected. But if it’s been a year or more since you felt truly challenged at work or excited about new responsibilities or projects, your career may have leveled off.
If you’re a growth-minded food & beverage professional, stagnancy is the equivalent of career suicide. So if you’re feeling a little stuck, use these strategies to weigh your options and make smart choices that will propel you onward and upward:
Start with introspection and career analysis.
Take a critical look at yourself and your work situation. Consider the answers to the following questions:
- What do you find most fulfilling about your work?
- What truly motivates you and makes you want to continue learning and growing? Are those factors present in your current role?
- What attitudes or beliefs (about yourself, your role, your organization or the food & beverage industry) may be holding you back?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses – both personally and professionally? What areas could benefit from education, retooling or development?
- What drives your job performance and brings you the greatest personal fulfillment at work?
Introspection is the first step in making changes for the better. Objectively evaluate who and where you are now, and compare those realities to your goals. Determine the time involved and trade-offs required to close the gaps. Create a personal mission statement, which outlines your professional growth and career goals.
Then ask the toughest question: Are you willing to make the changes and sacrifices necessary to elevate your career?
Be realistic – and committed.
Moving your career in the right direction starts with introspection and analysis, but real change won’t happen unless you act. So be realistic. Acknowledge and embrace the discomforts, sacrifices and occasional failures that will be part of the process. Realize that you – not your employer – are responsible for creating your career success. By setting healthy expectations at the outset, you’re more likely to stay committed to the changes you need to make.
If you want a promotion or a better position, you need to do things that draw positive attention to you. Here are a few ideas:
- Volunteer to work on a new project. Interdepartmental opportunities are ideal, because they increase your visibility in other areas of your food & beverage organization.
- Identify an organizational problem and offer potential solutions. (You can try this option with your current employer or even a target employer.)
- Ask for more responsibility.
Actions like these will begin to create the momentum you need to move your career ahead. So be proactive! Take the first step on your own, rather than waiting for someone else to do it for you.
Grow your network.
Use networking opportunities to build strategic relationships that will nurture your professional growth:
- Make new professional contacts – in person and digitally. Read industry publications to identify the innovators, leaders, influencers and decision-makers who could make a difference in your career.
- Raise your profile in the food & beverage industry. If you’re a talented writer or speaker, consider publishing in industry trade journals or presenting at a conference or seminar.
Pursue new opportunities.
If you’ve truly hit a plateau in your current organization, it might be time to make a move. Experts in food & beverage career management, Kinsa’s team of professional food & beverage recruiters can help you seize the right opportunity by:
- providing access to unadvertised positions;
- helping you assess your strengths, weaknesses and interests – to facilitate your long-term career development;
- representing you confidentially to potential employers;
- assessing your job offers to identify the best options for your career growth;
- supplying the career guidance, resume feedback and interview assistance you need.
Ready to move beyond your career plateau?