The question "Where do you see yourself five years from now?" is an old interview favorite.
To you, it may be about being promoted through the ranks in the same company. To someone else, it's all about working in different companies, industries and even countries to expand his or her knowledge and experience. Age, life stage, life experience, and evolving values may also change your idea of "getting ahead."
"Getting Ahead in Your Career" was the subject of our latest #MTtalk Twitter chat, on Friday (April 15). And it really struck a chord with people on the social media channel - it was one of the busiest chats we've hosted since we began doing them last summer, and we welcomed a number of new faces. More than 50 people joined in the lively hour-long discussion, generating a total of 500 posts.
Here are the questions we posed and some of the responses they received:
Question 1: What's been holding you back in your career?
@hrsanjaynegi "Sometimes your own comfort zone"
@Minimologist "Fear, the bugaboo of nearly every entrepreneur. For me, mostly fear of the unknown"
Question 2: Has the idea of a "career" changed for you? How?
@comhunicate "Yes. I no longer have a career, just a work-life relationship I try and balance!"
@KrisGiere "Career has become about personal growth & community impact instead of money"
Many of the responses to question three were about finding balance. It seems that the older we get, the more we realize how precious time is.
Question 3: How has age/life stage affected your career priorities?
@Dwyka_Consult "At this stage of my life I value my down time more than ever"
@temekoruns "It made me see that I can have a well-rounded career and life"
Question 4: How or when have you compromised your values to get where you want to be?
@Midgie_MT "Previously have stayed in a job for security reasons when I knew it was no longer a good fit with my values"
@amypen64 "By not speaking up and festering my complaints instead of addressing them head on"
Based on the responses during the chat, "getting ahead" is not just about money or position.
Question 5: What would "getting ahead" look like for you?
@MicheleDD_MT "Doing work that is meaningful and serves a higher purpose than making $$"
@KrisGiere "Leaving the world better than I found it"
Apart from serious advice, we also got a fun tip about staying visible - it's all about cookies and candy!
Question 6: How can you stay visible at work?
@philatravelgirl Bring the good cookies or keep a candy jar on your desk - I've had many Sr. Exec/CFO stop by and chat for a treat"
@Triumph_LA "The best way to stay visible at work is to be a vocal and productive team player"
Question 7: What skills do you need to develop to get ahead?
@JHochstat "Passion, persistence, resilience (in THAT order)"
@NootsCaboots "It's important to stay updated on your industry"
Question 8: Who's helped you along the way and what can you offer others?
@Liz "Managers who have trusted me, even when (especially when) I've questioned them"
@temekoruns "I use my experiences and my love of fitness to help motivate other to become executives of their own destinies"
Question 9: What advice would you give to a new employee about getting ahead in their career?
@Minimologist "Ask questions! Be vulnerable. You'll learn faster, and your humanity is endearing"
@philatravelgirl "Learn to do your job well and add value before wanting to jump up the ladder"
Question 10: What legacy do you want to leave in your current role?
The last word goes to @Triumph_LA "I want to help people not only find their passions, but make their passions work for them. I want to change the way we work"
At our next #MTtalk chat, we'll be asking whether it's possible to plan for a crisis. If it is, how do you do it? Join us on April 29 at 13:00 EST (17:00 GMT), when we're discussing "Preparing for the Unexpected." We'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
To join us, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Tap on "All Tweets" and you'll be able to follow the chat live. To participate, simply include the hashtag #MTtalk in your tweet and it will show up in the chat feed.
In the meantime, here are some more Mind Tools resources about getting ahead in your career, which we hope you'll find useful!
Overcoming a Lack of Qualifications
Career Progression in a Flat Organization
Managing Your Career
Explore Your Potential
What Are Your Values?
Getting Noticed - Staying "Visible" At Work