If you’re looking to advance your career (who isn’t?), these 6 tips will help you clarify where you’re going as well as how to get there.
Today’s post is by Alex Jones of DeVry University.
Advancing your career is something that you should always be thinking about. If you aren’t working to advance your career, you may fall behind. No matter what sort of situation you’re in, even if you’re comfortable in your current job, you should keep your mind open to opportunities and ways you can move forward.
One of the most important things to remember about your career, especially career advancement, is that the only person working on your career is you. What this means is that if you want to move in a new direction or to move up within your current field, you need to take responsibility and action in order to make it happen.
While showcasing hard work and proving yourself as a valuable asset at work is a great way to earn a promotion and advance your career within your current company, oftentimes people need to look outside their current job to further their career. If you are looking to advance outside your current job or want to make a larger career change, there is more that you can do than put in extra effort.
Check out this list of tips to help you advance your career or to make a career change:
This may be the most important aspect of making a career move or advancing your career. Without goals to guide you, it’s hard to know what direction you’re going to move toward. Sit down and make a list of what you want, whether it’s a type of work, raise in salary, new title, amount of responsibility or other traits you want in a job. If you know what you want for your career, it will make the steps necessary to get there clearer, which will make reaching your goal(s) easier.
Talk with your boss
While this can be an intimidating idea, it can also be an extremely beneficial one if you’re looking to stay at your current company. Just as you are looking to advance your career, your boss is as well, so they are going to understand why you want to have this conversation. At the very least, you’ll receive feedback from your supervisor about specific things you can do to improve your chances of advancement.
Ask for more responsibility
Oftentimes when companies are looking for people to promote, they are looking for people who they feel can provide value to the company. To demonstrate your ability to add value to your company, take on more responsibility and go above and beyond your expected requirements. Ask for more work and additional responsibility to show that you can provide extra value to your place of work.
Following the idea of adding value to your company, another way to demonstrate your value is to be creative and think of opportunities where the company can save or make money. This is a way you can demonstrate you’re thinking about what is best for the business, and not just yourself.
Use a mentor
Part of advancing your career is to understand and take advantage of the strengths and skills you have. Find someone you respect with experience in your field who also knows you that can mentor you. They can help you work to enhance your strengths and understand your possible weaknesses in order to improve yourself, removing possible obstacles in the way of reaching your goals. Your mentor can also be a resource to connections and opportunities outside of your current company.
Education is crucial to career advancement. If you aren’t learning, you aren’t adding to the value you can provide to employers. There are several ways you can continue to learn. Work with a colleague who has knowledge of a skill set you want and use them as a teaching resource. Learn a new skill or enhance an existing one on your own.
Another option is higher education. Earn an additional bachelor’s degree or a certificate to increase your value and worth to employers. Employers will see that you’re actively adding to your credentials and improving your skill set. While going back to school may seem like a daunting commitment to make while working, this is far from the truth. With online schools making college more accessible and a wide range of degree programs and specializations to choose from, it’s easier than ever to earn a degree. Online programs allow you to do coursework and classes on your own time, so you can work it into your busy schedule.
The most important thing to remember when you are trying to advance your career or make a career path change is that you’re the one responsible for making it happen. Determine what you want for your career so you can work toward and reach your career goals.
– Alex Jones currently writes for DeVry University, a higher education organization offering on campus and online degree programs.
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