Career advancement tends to come in different forms. For some it could mean as simple as being tasked to handle a project with increased responsibility. For others, career advancement only presents itself in the form of a promotion. While advancement can manifest in different ways, the steps to achieving it have a tendency to be similar to one another.
If you are looking for a way to advance your own professional career, here are a few tips to help you do just that and reach your career goals:
Talk to your boss
Some people believe that the only way to advance your career would be to explore external opportunities. While this is a valid approach, know that this isn’t the only approach. Career growth and advancement opportunities may exist in your current place of employment. Sometimes, you just need to be clear about what you aspire to achieve.
Ask for a sit-down with your boss and have a serious discussion about career advancement and the steps that you need to take to achieve it. When higher-ups understand that you want to improve and thrive with the company, they are definitely more open to finding ways to help you achieve growth. This may come in the form of internal management development programs and the like.
Seek out feedback
Advancement is synonymous with improvement. How can you improve if you don’t even know where to start?
Seek out feedback from trusted co-workers and members of management. The ones you work with the most are the ones who are most aware of where your current way of doing things falls short. Getting their insight into your productivity and work ethic helps you spot mistakes and find new ways of doing things. Take their advice as constructive criticism and try to develop ways to work on those shortcomings. That willingness to accept criticism and improve goes a long way.
Develop yourself / Invest in your skills
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people overlook this simple piece of advice. In some cases, career growth can stall due to not having the requisite skills to take on larger responsibilities in the workplace.
Take the time to invest in yourself and develop key skills for your industry. One of the best ways to do this would be to take an online certification course, such as the ones offered by Enderun Extension. Not only do these courses impart necessary skills, but these also help connect you with successful people in your industry in the form of your instructors. Plus, actually achieving certifications opens many opportunities should you decide to look towards other companies.
Find a mentor
Many professionals really learn how to spread their wings and fly after being mentored by someone who has already found success in the industry. Just as rookie athletes try to pick the brains of veteran players, you should try to find someone who can mentor you on the nuances of your career. After all, who better to emulate than someone who has successfully risen to the top, right?
If you have a manager you like and have a good relationship with, asking him or her for advice is a good place to start. In other cases, you can find a mentor in your personal certification course instructor. Other times, you can find sage advice in books written by icons in your industry.
Expand your professional network
Networking is an important part of career advancement. Knowing how to market yourself is a valuable skill at every stage of your career, and a well-developed professional network will be one of your main sources of friendships, mentors, and referrals. Trade organizations, alumni associations, and continuing education classes are all great places to start cultivating relationships with colleagues who can help advance your career.