12 Sep Think of Your Future Reference – Today
If you are happy in your current job, and we hope you are, you won’t feel the need to think of a reference in the future. Thinking of who you would add as a reference in future is not just about your career growth from job to job. Considering someone in your current environment forces you to think beyond your basic duties. It forces you to hold yourself accountable to the stories that will be told about you if and when you leave.
(Also Read: What is the point of a reference check?)
Who do you report to?
Your first question may seem obvious as you will likely have an immediate manager. Who else do you report to? Do you ever have to perform duties for another department or manager? Who do you speak to when your line manager is away?
Bear in mind that your line manager might be the reason you leave. Knowing who else you could list as a future reference can help you manage your brand in front of them.
Action: Know who is relevant above you.
Do they know you exist?
Sure, your immediate manager knows you exist, but do the others? Maintain an amicable relationship with the other managers as well.
What this will do for your current working environment is open channels of communication that could help you do your job better. You will need to be careful not to undermine your line manager. If you maintain a balance of approachability and fairness your reputation of being the go-to person will grow.
Action: Make sure you are visible to the right people
Do they know your KPI’s?
More often people only know the problem staff and the super achievers. You might not be one of them, but you meet your key performance indicators regularly and stay out of trouble. This is not a call for you to send a company-wide email every time you hit the mark. Make sure you achieve your targets so if the question ever get asked if you did, the answer will be affirmative.
Action: Meet your targets
Leave on a good note
While not always possible, do your best to leave on a good note. The last impression you leave at the company could sour all of your achievements and leave you with a bad reference. An experienced consultant will be able to see through this. However it is better to not risk having an inexperienced recruiter contact a potential bad reference.
Action: Don’t burn bridges
Do Good. Always.
The one sure fire way to ensure you get a good reference is to always put in your best effort. You can’t control anyone else’s behaviour except your own. If you understand that fact, you can own your actions and words’, ensuring your best effort is always given.
Do your work today as if someone is writing your story to be told in future. Work today so that when people talk about you, they say good things. Your actions now, will not only make your current job better, but will help open future doors so that you grow in your career.
Next we will look at who not to list as a reference and how to select your references smartly.