5 Ways to Accelerate Your Career


by Sara Canaday

While I fully recognize that reaching our professional goals is dependent on quality results, the vast majority of us are also evaluated on an entirely different set of factors. And while we are frantically focused on the overwhelming details of day-to-day business, we are left to skimp on what is arguably some of the most important things we can do to differentiate ourselves: Here are some of those factors:

Hone your relationship skills.

The way we interact with others has a direct impact on our ability to influence behavior, ultimately impacting results… for them, for us, and for the business.

Stand out by fitting in.

Learn the rules of engagement and “play the game” to win. Save the renegade approach for solutions, products and ideas, not behavior.

Practice agility and embrace uncertainty.

Even if it runs counter to your methodical and systematic profile, play the role of ninja professional—the one who can change on a dime, redirect plans and push through regardless of setbacks or unexpected challenges.

Prepare to communicate your value.

Today, it is no longer about competing, but rather about differentiating. Sure, you might have an impressive list of projects and years of experience. But if you can’t articulate your value in a way that helps others to clearly see the benefits of working with you, your experience and knowledge won’t matter. Show people that having you on their team will help them to “win.”

Pay close attention to your personal brand.

That’s right, you have one. Not sure what your brand is? It’s been largely defined by the people working around you. They have formulated their perceptions of your brand based on all of the experiences you’ve given them to do so. Think about the way they would describe your skills and talents, as well as your ability to facilitate, communicate and interact with others. If that honest assessment doesn’t match the way you’d ideally like to be perceived by your colleagues, make some changes to close any gaps. Enhancing the perceptions of your personal brand can make a huge difference in enhancing your value.

summit-graphic-v2Catch Sara and other spectacular speakers at IAAP Summit 2018 in Austin, Texas. Find out why IAAP Summit is the go-to conference for office and administrative professionals year-in and year-out. Hurry, early bird pricing ends in January.


Keynote speaker and author, Sara Canaday works with clients to help them accelerate their careers and enhance their leadership impact. Sara is the author of the business book, “You–According To Them: Uncovering the blind spots that impact your reputation and your career. You can connect with Sara on Twitter @saracanaday.

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