Have you ever noticed that the person who gets promoted is not always the most competent for the job?

Or how about the person who did all the work not being recognized as much as the person who talks about it?

Or what about the person who is career-stunted because they once said the wrong thing to the wrong person.

These are all symptoms of not managing your career.

Many hard-working people suffer in their career growth solely because they have not spent the time to identify the factors and people who most influence their career. Here are 3 simple tips to help you get going:

1. Clarify Your Job Goals

In fast-paced organizations (and who isn’t in one nowadays), it is easy to lose focus on what is really important. Make sure you have sat down with your manager and clearly identified and PRIORITIZED your goals. Make a point to regularly communicate progress.

KEY TIP: Managers hate it when you come to them with problems and no solutions, so if an obstacle comes up, make it easy on your boss by presenting a number of viable solutions and action plans.

2. Identify Your Boss’ Goals

Become a career ally to your manager by understanding how they are measured and then see how you might be able to contribute. Don’t be a brown nose, but if you know more about what their personal priorities are and can find a way to assist, you will be viewed in a new light.

3. Map Out the Key Decision-Makers and Influencers

When is the last time you clearly identified those who can affect your career? Clearly your boss, but what other people influence him and his managers?

What about the HR people who will always be involved when there are promotions under consideration? Make it a point to build strong alliances with them so they can understand your management style.

Make sure you identify the political game-players who are focusing on building a fiefdom, because while you are working to produce results, they are strategizing as to how they can surround themselves with loyal followers and advance their career.

Then take the time to see who influences your boss, their boss, HR and your peers. Then grade yourself on a scale of 1-10 regarding your relationship with each key member. Now build a plan to get more visibility and ally yourself with those in command.

Take 1 hour of your time to map out your career strategy and you will enjoy faster career growth and security.

Author's Bio: 

Don Goodman, President of About Jobs (www.GotTheJob.com) is a nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Certified Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business and Stanford University's Executive Program, Don has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Get a Free Resume Evaluation, read his blog at www.GotTheJob.com/blog/ or contact him at 800-909-0109 or by e-mail at DGoodman@GotTheJob.com.