Many people are excited for their careers to progress. They want to move up the ladder, and when they begin their working life, this is what they will be thinking of for the most part. However, as time goes on, it can become harder and harder to move forward, particularly when you find you are comfortable where you are. Even if you know that progressing would be the best option, getting out of your comfort zone and making the necessary changes is always going to be a challenge.
Yet career progression is hugely important. Even if it means changing jobs to reach the point you want to get to, even if it means working harder than you would if you intended to just stay still, even if it means making sacrifices (to some extent, at least – you do need to draw a line somewhere), progressing through your career options will help to make you happier, more engaged, more successful, and even healthier in terms of your mental health. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have some idea of how to move forward and progress in your career. Whether you’ve only just started down this road of working, or you realize you’re stuck in a rut and need to do something to get out of it, now is the perfect time to make the decisions you need to make. So read on to find out some useful tips for career progression so you can do whatever it is you need to do to get wherever it is you need to get.
Networking is a massively useful way to effect excellent career progression. By going to conferences, talks, and meetings, not only will you learn new things that will help you get further in your job, but you will also meet new people who can help you do the same thing. Or why not look into specific networking meetings if you want to make sure you’re not going to come away empty-handed? There are even websites dedicated to networking (LinkedIn is an excellent example) if you prefer to do things virtually.
You don’t even have to make these all-important network connections with strangers. There might actually be people you already work with who can help you and whom you can help if need be. By sharing your knowledge and skills and learning from others, you can become a much more well-rounded individual who would be ideal for promotion or, if you prefer it, achieving a new position in a different company.
Make A Plan
If you don’t have a plan regarding your career progression, everything is going to be a lot harder for you. You won’t know which opportunities are the right ones to take, for example, because you won’t know which direction you need to be heading in.
If you have a plan that takes you from where you are now to where you want to be, and if that plan has every step laid out in as much detail as possible, then you will always know the answer to any decision you have to make. You will always know exactly what to do in any given situation to push forward towards your ultimate goals.
The plan also means that you won’t feel as though you’re not getting anywhere and feel demotivated. If you always know what the next step is and you always know what to do once you have achieved something, you’ll never be at a loss, and you’ll never feel as though all your efforts are in vain.
Use Your Appraisals
If you work somewhere that offers you regular appraisals on your work, use this information to your advantage. The appraisals, whether they are positive or negative, will give you an indication of what you are good at and what needs work. This is extremely helpful if you want to progress your career since understanding your strengths and weaknesses is paramount. Only when you know which areas you excel at and which you need to do more work in will you know how likely career progression is. This will help you understand what other work you need to put into everything.
If you don’t get regular (or any) appraisals, don’t worry. Although it’s harder work, you can work out what your own strengths and weaknesses are. You have to be entirely honest with yourself, as the more open you can be, the more useful the information will be to you. If there are areas you need to do better in, assuming they will help you advance your career, you’ll need to look at enhancing them. If there are areas you are particularly good at, look at where these skills could take you – perhaps you’re already at a point where you can take the next step.
If you want to get ahead in your career and you want to be seen as the best candidate for promotion or an entirely new job, learning more is essential. This might mean reading blogs and industry news, for example, or it could be that you need a specific qualification to get where you want to go; if you’re a nurse, then accelerated BSN online programs are an excellent option, for example.
No matter what industry you happen to work in, gaining more qualifications and credentials is never a bad thing. It shows your boss or potentially new employer that you are serious about what you are doing and about how you want to progress, and it means that you will have all the knowledge you need to succeed. Plus, learning is interesting and will keep your mind occupied, so even if you don’t intend to use your new qualification for career progression, it’s still a good idea to take part.
Unless your employer knows you want to progress your career, they aren’t going to be able to help you do anything about it. You need to speak up and ensure they are aware that you want to move up the career ladder; if you do this, they will pay more attention to what you can do and will ideally keep you in mind should any promotions or other openings come up.
If you simply continue your job in the same way as always and never mention how interested you are in moving forward, don’t be surprised if you are passed over for promotion time and again.