Your job is something that takes up a huge proportion of your life, so getting it right is crucial to your health and happiness. This is why so many people are keen to advance their careers in order to be more comfortable and feel more successful.
For some, career advancement can certainly sound easier said than done, but it is possible for everyone with the right attitude and the right knowledge. Read on to find out how you can advance your career and enjoy the benefits that come with it.
Carry Out A Self-Assessment
It's hard to look at yourself and your skills objectively, but it is something that needs to be done if you want to advance in your career. You should assess both your 'hard skills' and your 'soft skills' to work out where you are lacking and what you are particularly good at.
Soft skills include:
- Managing your emotions
Hard skills include:
- Technical knowledge
- Career based skills
In order to advance, you need to have a good combination of both hard and soft skills. If you take a step back and look at where you need to improve, you can work on that before asking for or applying for a promotion or a job in another company at a higher level.
Gain More Knowledge
If you find that you have assessed your own skills and realized that you are lacking somewhere, don't worry – you can improve. Taking Kettering University Online's operations management masters degree will give you a wide range of additional skills for example. Not only will you learn a lot which you can put to good use in your career, but you will also show your current and future employers that you are taking your career seriously and that you want to do well.
The fact that you can take online courses is wonderful too since it means you don't have to stop work and can continue to improve as you go along.
Without career goals in mind, you could easily find yourself staying in the same job in the same position for many years. Although this is not something that bothers some people, others will become frustrated and bored, and this can lead to depression and work-related stress.
Having goals in mind, ideally with a good timeframe, means that you will always be working towards something. You will always have something to aim for. Therefore, you won't just have a vague idea that you might one day want to do something more; you will know exactly what you want and when you want it to happen, helping you to work harder and move more quickly towards it.
Goals should always be achievable, and if your goal is to head up the company one day there is nothing wrong with that, but remember that there will be many steps in between where you are now and where you want to be. By breaking your goals down into smaller, more easily achievable steps, you will feel more accomplished, and you won't give up on your ultimate goals.
Make yourself a complete career timeline if you can. This will involve writing down what you want to be doing and by when, and what your anticipated salary would be at those points. This may need to be revised as you gain more skills and knowledge, but having it as a guide to work to is something that will be motivating and empowering, and it will mean you are always going to be learning and gaining information that will help you move forward.
Having a confident manner about you is something that will set you apart from many other people. Assume that you are going to be successful (without being arrogant), and you will put yourself in a good, positive frame of mind. What your mind thinks is directly related to the rest of you, and a positive attitude can usually lead to a positive outcome in terms of career since it will impress others, and you will get more done. A negative mindset reduces productivity immensely.
By being confident in your abilities, not only will you show that you can do the job and that you understand it, but you show that you can do a lot more – you will get excellent feedback from customers, your employers will task you with more because they know you can do it, and you will gain skills and experience as you go. Your confident manner might even make you indispensable, giving you your pick of careers in the future.
Build Your Network
A network is crucial if you want to advance your career. The people you know are just as important as the knowledge you have about your job, so make sure you have a wide range of people to talk to and engage with.
This can be done in a number of ways. Online networking is particularly useful as it means you don't have to take much time out of your already busy schedule to speak to people. LinkedIn is a popular way of connecting with similarly-minded people in positions of influence, for example, but sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which used to be solely for personal use, are now being used by businesses as a matter of course, and you should be able to connect with some useful contacts there too.
Attending conferences and workshops as well as specific networking events is also important. You never know when the people you meet can help you, or when you can help them (remember, networking should always be a two-way street).
Talk To Your Boss
If you want to advance your career, one of the easiest things to do (even if it doesn't feel easy) is to talk to your employer. Ask them outright what it takes to get to the next level, and listen carefully to their answer. Even if it isn't what you wanted to hear, and they say that you just aren't ready, or that there are better candidates, dig deeper. Find out what you need to do to be ready, and what you need to do to be better than the rest. Once you know, set about doing it.