How to be a career activist

Barbara Moses suggests in her book ‘Career Intelligence‘ that people become career activists as a strategy for managing their career.

A career activist crafts their own future. They do this by:

  • writing their own script. They know what they have to offer, who they, what they are good at, what they love doing, and see themselves as capable, marketable people.
  • being vigilant and entrepreneurial on their own behalf. They don’t wait for someone else to do things for them. They seek out opportunities.
  • thinking of themselves as an independent agent. They operate independently of their job title, organisation and what others think.

To be a career activist you need to:

  • think in terms of roles rather than job titles or duties. Roles refer to terms like change agent, trouble shooter, expert, facilitator.
  • play to your strengths. Become better at what you are already good at.
  • believe in yourself. Foster a sense of self as a person who is capable and skilled, able to make a contribution.
  • think of everyone you work for as a client rather than a boss or colleague.
  • build broad networks. Cultivate relationships with a broad range of people and stay in touch.
  • keep on learning. Can you describe what you learned in the last six months? What you hope to learn in the next six months? Can you name the most recent trends in your field and their implications?
  • think lattice not ladders. Track your career progress by the work you do rather than level or title. Move sideways to gain depth of content.
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.