No matter what industry you work in, excelling at your current job is the key to continued career advancement. As a professional it can become frustrating to wait for your annual appraisal or personal development meeting. Instead of waiting around, get smart and use these tips to create a career strategy that will help you push yourself, and your career, forward.
Take some career development risks
Seize the responsibility for your own career advancement. Don’t waste valuable time hoping for the best, or waiting for your company to notice that you’re doing high-quality work and shower you with riches and promotions. Chart a career path, and make your management your partners in working to advance your career.
Actively seek opportunities
Actively look for work opportunities. Be proactive and identify where you can contribute and provide value within the business. Always be on the lookout for new projects and opportunities to go above and beyond the call of duty. In addition, actively seek development opportunities to improve on both your technical and non-technical skills. Lastly, actively look for job opportunities. You may find something that will interest and challenge you, or you may find that you are already in your perfect role. Nevertheless, it gives you something to work towards and the opportunity to identify the qualifications and skills required for your next role.
Network – even when you don’t want a new job
A well-developed professional network can be a source of friendships, mentors, and referrals. Your network can provide objective insights for evaluating opportunities and problems. Trade organizations, churches, alumni associations, friends of friends, and continuing education classes all offer excellent sources for cultivating relationships with colleagues who can help advance your career. Remember: job security comes and goes, but a solid network of valuable contacts is valuable no matter the circumstances.
Remembering that your career is a journey that takes time and effort. If you’re ready for career advancement, implement some of these strategies into your professional life and personal growth will soon follow. We all have the same number of hours in the day, and what separates the successful from the rest is the desire to learn, change and progress. It can seem scary walking the path away from the known, but the rewards make the journey worth it.
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