Career advancement is what many strive for, usually for different reasons. This could be an increase in pay, new challenges or personal aspirations. Whatever the reason, there are usually key attributes all successful people exhibit which usually make them attractive for promotions. Here are my views on the best career advancement strategies you can use:
Self – development is one of the best career advancement strategies to employ
This is one of the most common and well-known career advancement strategies around. In order to be among the best and to lead your peers; you need to exhibit superior skills. The only way to obtain this is through self -development. This can be anything from reading up on your subject in your spare time to gaining tacit knowledge through practical work. Being able to demonstrate commitment to continuous self-development is an attractive quality to employers – As it demonstrates an aptitude to stay abreast with changes in your industry. Furthering education and developing new skills also helps you maneuver your career in the right direction.
Doors of opportunity are not always visible. Sometimes the key to success lies in creating or unearthing hidden opportunities. If you feel that your current job isn’t providing enough development opportunities – Venture off into new areas. Offer your services to other departments by negotiating with your boss and promising that you will still complete your work on time. The added effort will also get you noticed as being hard working and ambitious. You can also propose new projects to your boss and ask to personally lead those projects. This shows initiative and leadership abilities.
Broadening your job description
The main purpose of a job isn’t usually to develop or train you, as most people choose to believe. You perform a job to benefit a company. As long as you are able to perform the relevant job functions discussed – You will be a star employee. The problem with following job descriptions though, is the fact that it often develops a fixed skill set. In terms of growth this can be career limiting. Therefore it is up to you to expand your abilities through personal development. Read linkedin profiles and job descriptions. Find out what others in your position are currently working with. Then research and apply the knowledge you learn with the work you do. This will not only improve your chances of being hired by other companies but will also develop your skills to move onto more challenging roles. This is by far one of the most valuable career advancement strategies to add to your list.
Networking with senior mentors
Sometimes in business, just hard work alone doesn’t have much effect on career advancement. Being noticed by the right people though, can have colossal positive effects. One of the most effective career advancement strategies is therefore networking. Get noticed by volunteering to assist or lead large projects. Remember to choose the right projects too. Projects shouldn’t just be large they should be impactful too. Ensuring ISO compliance in a factory for example, may be simpler that installing factory upgrades. However the importance of ensuring regulation is met – Far outweighs the need for new equipment. Another way to network with seniors is to arrange mentorship meetings with senior staff. Senior executives may not always have the time but making the attempt will definitely get you noticed.
Creating career milestones
Never move blindly through your career. Always have a plan, a set of milestones and diligently adhere to it. Ensure that you constantly develop your skills and ensure that your career is moving at the pace you set. It is not always a good idea to set career milestones based on the movement of your peers in their careers. This often leads to disappointment and career dissatisfaction. Always set goals according to your own aspirations. In creating career milestones – Ensure that your company is able to help you achieve them. If not, you may find yourself in a situation where your career plans lag signficantly.
Develop soft skills
Yes, technical skills are invaluable. However there are countless technically minded people but only a few that can successfully inspire those around them. Having skills like emotional intelligence, effective communication and leadership will help set you apart from competition. Soft skills show your ability to think strategically which merges perfectly with technical acumen.
Developing scarce skill-sets
Every company has smart people. The key to success is to become of them. One of the best career advancement strategies is therefore to identify how you can become a key contributor and original thinker at your company. This could be anything from being an expert at programming to an expert at excel dashboards. Mastering a particular niche skill set will get you noticed as a expert. This will develop a positive reputation in the company you work at. Another great reason to do this will be job security. At a time when jobs are at risk, it is usually the most valuable skill-sets which are retained.
There are countless other career advancement strategies that have worked for many. This list is intended to be a start. With trial and error you will find that there are other great ways to get yourself noticed positively.
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