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3 secrets to kickstarting upward mobility in your career

These secrets are what drive Harlan's Food Manufacturing Professionals to succeed

Here at Harlan, we are always working to improve.  Operational excellence and career path growth for our Food Manufacturing Professionals is very important to us.  To improve your career, you have to improve yourself.

In the last year, Harlan has launched a number of programs designed to help our team members grow and succeed in their careers as Food Manufacturing Professionals.  These  include our Mentorship Program, Our Apprentice Food Professional Program, Our Certified Food Professional and Master Certified Food Professional certifications and our Safety Sweepstakes just to name a few.

We decided it was a good idea to share some of the career secrets we use at Harlan.  If you feel that the approach we take to employee success is something you'd like to know more about, we would love to talk to you about joining the Harlan team.  You'll find a link at the bottom to help you get started.

Opportunity Often Hides in Plain Sight

Why do we go to work?  Every day we trade our time for money.  A paycheck, right?  Well, that is true for most people. However, you are NOT most people!

Have you ever wondered what it would take to have more?  Have you ever thought about where you wanted to be in a year?  Two?  What would your life look like?   Does it have a nice new car or a better place to live?  College courses?  Maybe a better vacation? More money in the bank?

What does your future life feel like?  Do you feel happier, more satisfied, more confident?  Does your 'Future You' feel more at ease?  Less anxiety about money?  Imagine that feeling.  Do you like what the 'Future You' looks like and feels like?

So how do get from your 'Right Now You' to the 'Future You'?  Actually it is pretty simple and it doesn't matter if you are working your first job, are under employed  or are the CEO of a company.  Put these 3 secrets to work and you will improve!

Secret Number One:  Invest in the 'Right Now' You

Improvement happens one step at a time.  It is a process, to improve your career, you have to want to do it.

In order to get to your 'Future You', you have to describe what goals the 'Future You' has achieved and the steps the 'Future You' took to achieve these goals.  In other words, you have to invest time and effort into the 'Now You' to get to the 'Future You'.  Here are some examples of how to do that:

  1. Improve my communication skills.  I am going to work on communicating with others by not just listening to what they say but observing their body language.  I am going to do a better job in listening to what others say and how they act.  I am also going to learn 2 new words a week and work to include them in all of my communications.
  2. I am going to smile more and make better eye contact with others.  The vibe I put out is the vibe I will get back.
  3. I will practice constructive feedback.  At work and at home, I will ask those who I respect and trust as well as work for what I can do to improve.
  4. I will improve on being curious.  I will work to ask more questions and learn from what I hear.
  5. I will practice these activities until they become a habit.
Smile more

Harlan employees putting the three secrets to work by smiling more

Secret Number Two: Build Upon Your Success

Once your Secret Number One activities start to become a habit, build on them.  How do you do this?

Here are some examples:

  1. Be confident.  Know what your are doing to improve yourself is the right thing.  Confidence like the other steps above comes from practice and habit.  Know that your current situation doesn't define you.  What you do defines you.
  2. Look for opportunities to learn a new skill or master a new task at work.  Master these new skills or tasks.  Take inventory of the improvements you have helped to make.  Communicate these improvements to your boss and ask for more.
  3. If new opportunities or responsibilities are not available to you at work, you might be in the wrong job.  However make a list of the tasks and responsibilities you want to take on.  This will help you in interviewing for a new and better job.
  4. If your situation or work environment is holding you back from improving, change it.  Move on.  The worst thing you can do is go to work every day and never improve your career path.

Secret Number Three: Teach Others What You Now Know

Helping others learn

Harlan Food Professionals are always helping others learn

Secret Three builds on the activities of Secrets One and Two.  The only difference is you now are sharing these knowledge with others to help them on their career path.

  • Know how to do a task you see a new co-worker struggling with?  Don't just help them do it, help teach them how to do it right!
  • See a safety issue but its not in your department as are walking to your lunch break with a co-worker?  Find the right supervisor and report it!  Explain to your co-worker why that was the right thing to do.
  • See a co-worker who is not integrating well into the team?  Ask them what they can do to better fit in and then help them do this by pairing that person up with someone you know.

Moving up and improving your career and in turn your life requires only a couple of things.

  1. Always work to be improving and learning.
  2. Be friendly and approachable.
  3. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
  4. Be able to communicate well.  This includes asking for and taking feedback.
  5. Be willing to help others improve.

These five things are all forms of good leadership and it's mastering these things that will transform the 'Now You' into the 'Future You'.  By adopting these three secrets and working at it consistently, in two years, you and your life will look very different.

Ready to get started on the 'Future You'?  Your path to success is just one click away.  Just look for the 'Get Started at Harlan' form on the home page.

Let's get started!

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Harlan is a world class food manufacturer with facilities across the United States and Canada.  

We are a leader in the manufacture of specialty and artisan baked goods, as well as other numerous innovative food products.  

Our goal is to consistently deliver to the retailers we serve a consistent supply of safe, quality food.

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