How to stay focused on your career progression when you are too busy to think

Long hours in consultancy are often seen as the norm. In fact, it can be easy to become so busy that it becomes impossible to stay focused on progressing your career. But how can your focus on progressing your career even when you are overwhelmed with work and people wanting your time?

Staying focused on your ultimate career goal of making partner gets pretty tough, when you are so busy that all you can think about is getting through the day (If this hasn’t happened to you yet in your career as a professional adviser, then I can assure you that it will happen at some point!). However, if you are going to stay on partnership track, then you need to keep plugging away at advancing your career, regardless of how much client work is on your desk at the present time. 

Very understandably, when you are ‘too’ busy it can become all too easy to lose sight of your career goals. However, unless you have recently experienced a life-changing event, most people don’t suddenly wake up in the morning and completely change how they work and what they do to remain focused on their end game.

To keep yourself mentally focused on your career progression, you need to build personal routines designed to help you achieve your long-term career objectives, which you then religiously follow daily, weekly and monthly. These are routines which you build up over time to help keep you personally effective as well as always working towards your personal objectives. It is essential that you learn to do this early in your career. We have seen numerous professionals fail to make partner because they have not maintained a good enough level of contact with their clients and work-referring contacts.

These professionals make the mistake of not thinking about where the next piece of work will come from, or how to progress their career to the next stage, because they only concentrate on the work on their desks. We are not saying that this is easy but you must learn to do it and then keep doing it.

This article is written by Heather Townsend, co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, as part of a series of articles written for the Managers Network. To find out more about the network click here or register for updates

Heather Townsend is the leading global expert on what it takes to make, and when you get there, stay there. As well as ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, she is the author of ‘The Go-To Expert’, ‘The FT Guide To Business Networking’ and ‘Poised for partnership’. She regularly blogs at how to make partner. This article was originally published on the How to make partner website.