10 Sure ways to advance your career the intrapreneurial way.

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Loving the term Intrapreneur. At the end of the day our careers are literally and figuratively our own business. Gone are the days of someone “mapping their career” or working their way from the “mail room to the C-Suite” learning everything from within one organization.

“Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization.”

As a matter of fact the newer generations are not even experiencing the traditional 9-5, one employer full time, benefits, employment model. Many new professionals have to freelance, intern with no pay for extended periods or take “survival” jobs outside of their desired profession – all the while likely carrying hefty student debts.

Working in Human Resources for 10+ years, I have seen my fair share of people who have had the drive but lacked the know-how needed to get noticed and self-advocate.   Unfortunately, I have witnessed more than my fair share of people who seemed to get stuck year after year in the same job or be at the mercy of someone else identifying their talent or waiting for the proverbial performance evaluation in a reactive matter for something to come their way.

Just as looking for work is a full time job, getting ahead is also a full time job. Every action, every interaction can mean more of the same or an opportunity to take charge and be the creator of your own destiny. So from a coach and an HR’s perspective I share with you tested and true suggestions to help you get ahead.

10. Volunteer for Special Projects – This will give you the opportunity to  showcase different skills as well as interact with different leadership levels or departments. It also shows good corporate citizenship and team spirit.

9. Introduce a cause or charity you are passionate about – Be it a green initiative or fund raising for a specific charity, if there is a cause you truly believe in and are passionate about make sure you clear it with HR or are given the go ahead before linking it to your organization.

8. Become a Mentor or Sponsor for a junior colleague. Whether inside or outside your organization, professional organizations more often than not have mentorship programs. It provides great leadership experience as well as a great addition to your resume.

7. Find ways to reduce cost and introduce innovation to your organization. Start with the job you already know and make it the best it can be! This is a great way to show you have internal drive and helps to improve your presentation and research skills.

6. Do your own homework. Learn everything there is to know about your organization, its place in the market, the industry, the world. Who are its main competitors and what are the trends for its products and services.

5. Volunteer to be a brand champion. If comfortable with social media and with the guidance of leadership, you can volunteer to blog and become a social media champion to your organization.

4. Find win/win propositions to renegotiate your salary. While doing your homework and creating ways to save money or streamline a process, find a way to either incorporate this into your existing role, expand your role or even identify a brand new position altogether. You do not need to wait until your performance evaluation is due. It is ok to be proactive and bring forth proposals that can be mutually beneficial – even if not accepted your efforts will be noticed. Remember be gracious if your idea gets deferred or not implemented “this time”.

3. Call in the big guns. Working with a professional career coach is an investment worth every penny. An external career coach can guide you outside of “corporate politics” or potential conflicts of interest. They work for you. Just like an athlete has a coach to provide guidance and identify what they need to work on, a career coach can help you set and achieve your goals.

2.  Continued Development means Continued Success. Almost every single regulated profession requires continued development activities for recertification from their membership. The reason is because their “brand” – be it their designation as a lawyer, chartered accountant, certified coach, HR professional etc – stands for high quality and value of their member’s specific skills and qualifications. Be at the top of your game by investing in your own skills development – keeping them sharp, expanding and up to date.

1. Personal Branding. Just like an enterprise if nobody knows who you are, what you do and what your value proposition is, how can you expect anybody to invest in you. Hiring an employee is an investment on the part of any employer. Take ownership and make sure your skills and personal brand are “hot” in the market. Invest in yourself and others will invest in you.

“Action is the foundational key to all success” Pablo Picasso

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