Your career: Are you a hunter or farmer?

Alumna Alaynna Elliot (BA 2007, BBus(Mgt) 2007, MHRM 2011, GradDipHRMgt 2011) is the Senior Manager of Human Resources and Talent Management for Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd in Australia and New...

Alumna Alaynna Elliot (BA 2007, BBus(Mgt) 2007, MHRM 2011, GradDipHRMgt 2011) is the Senior Manager of Human Resources and Talent Management for Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd in Australia and New Zealand.

She shares her tips for climbing the corporate ladder.

“The most frequent question I am asked, aside from “do you get to drive those cars” always relates to careers.

People are often searching for a quick answer as to climbing the corporate ladder. 

Most are surprised to hear the answer is not so simple, and lies within your understanding of not just where you want to get to but also a realistic understanding of where you are right now.

In my role I come across what I call job ‘hunters’ and job ‘farmers’; those who seek out new opportunities and those who maintain what they have.

All of us at some stage are on the ‘hunt’, whether it’s within our current organisation or outside where a new opportunity awaits.

As a hunter the key pieces of advice that I have found effective to help in orienting the ‘hunt’ are:

• Know your gaps
• Know where you want to go
• What is needed to get there?
• You’re not expected to have all the answers in the ‘How To’ of your career, but you need to ask the question…

As a tip, these are great questions to prepare with before an interview as they offer true insight into not only you and your plans but also your awareness of why you have those plans!

Whilst the ‘hunt’ is largely the unknown, ‘farming’ operates in the known, you know your company, you can see others around you moving through different roles, some up, some across.

It is because of this familiarity that when ‘job farming’ it’s more important than ever to take every opportunity that you can.

You have a unique opportunity when you’re already with an organisation so take advantage of it!

Here are some points that have helped me as I’ve ‘farmed’ my own career patch:

Prioritise
Identify development areas that will add the greatest value and make a difference.

Seek feedback and support
Learn from others. Ensure that feedback is relevant to your development priorities.

Take time to reflect
Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t work, and why.

Involve others
Find people who can help you in your development by soliciting ideas and reactions from them and who will provide specific, candid feedback on both your strengths and weaknesses."

On a personal note I have found these tips to particularly useful in supporting my career journey, so if you’re still interested in my answer to the first question, 'yes, the cars are fantastic!'"

For more resources to support your career goals visit our Career Support website.