Don’t Neglect Your Career While Focusing on Your Job

Are you so focused on your job that you’re neglecting your career? Here’s how to strike a better balance between your short-term responsibilities and your long-term goals.

Start by analyzing the strategic value of your tasks. Create a Venn diagram, with one circle representing your existing responsibilities, and another the job description you aspire to. Use this diagram to help you identify the tasks you’d like to hold on to, stretch toward, and eventually let go of.

Next, work with your manager to build toward the future you want. Explain the career path you’d ultimately like to take. “I’m committed to doing a great job in this role,” you could say, “and I’d also like to position myself for success in the future. If you’re willing, I’d love your help in strategizing around how to make that work.” Ask for their help in identifying and recommending you for stretch assignments or opportunities to develop new skills and contacts.

Finally, be willing to experiment with “120% time.” This means carving out extra time to experiment with activities outside the scope of your current job requirements.

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