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Ask the Expert: Five tips for advancing your career

Jan 26, 2018

If I learned anything in my years in recruiting it was this: Hiring managers hire people they know or know of. That’s no different in a university setting.

Here are a few tips for faculty and staff looking to enhance their brand and continue to grow within Indiana University:

Continuously learn

Even if you’ve been in a role for long enough to do it backwards and forwards with your eyes closed and one hand tied behind your back, you should always challenge yourself to learn more. In today’s age of information, there are always things to be learned.

Read articles on your field, go to a conference and learn something new; it will keep your role fresh. If you take it a step further and teach others on your team, it will enhance your value to the organization.

Be a coach/mentor to junior team members

You don’t have to be a formal mentor or manager to help junior team members. From a leadership perspective, this is an initial sign of being ready to lead or manage a team. 

If you’re in a role where there’s not an opportunity for formal management, this is a great way to practice your skills and prepare for that next role where you do have a team to manage. By sharing your knowledge, you’re taking work off your manager’s plate, and that doesn’t go unnoticed!

Have an attitude of positivity

No one wants to be around people who are constantly complaining. Having a positive attitude is a choice, and it’s one that impacts the whole team. Hiring managers aren’t looking for yes men, but they are looking for positive energy. A positive attitude goes a long way. 

In the same vein, say “Yes!” Of course you can’t always say yes to additional work, but when you can, be the person who volunteers to help the team out. The person who always says no or shows no interest isn’t going to be the one selected for a promotion or recommendation.

Be an expert in your field

No one should know your role better than you. If you know that to be the case, don’t be afraid to share what you know. Present to peers, raise your hand for speaking opportunities, write an article. Don’t let your Midwestern modesty get in the way of enhancing your value.

Expand your brand beyond your office

The university is a big place with plenty of opportunities for cross office/cross department/cross school engagement. Volunteer! The next time there’s an opportunity to sit on a board, be on a committee or generally engage, do it! The more engaged you are across campus, the more opportunities you will have. 

Refer back to my initial sentiment: Hiring managers hire people they know or know of, and this is one way to become known.

Kori Renn is the coaching and student services lead in the Kelley School of Business Office of Undergraduate Career Services.

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