May 25, 2021
An average person spends about one-third of their life working, which is why it is essential to find a job that you truly love. But, things do not always turn out the way you want them to, and you may end up doing a dead-end job or a job which you are not passionate about. A negative point of view about your career is discouraging when you get underappreciated for your work, earning less, or simply not liking your work. However, there is always hope, and even if you are working where you do not want to, there are always few ways which you could accelerate your career and get that promotion or raise, or get that job you have always desired for. Here are a few simple tips/ways in which you could become happier, and become a valuable and employable worker that every company desires to hire. Boosting your career is not only limited to how good your resume looks, it is all about taking action and making changes in your life that you wish to see in your career.
10 Career Advancement Tips That You Should Follow
1. Define what Success means to you
Success may not mean the same to everyone, as for some people it may be getting a top position, or owning an expensive house or car, and for others, it may be finding a career that allows them to spend more time with their loved ones. There is no definite definition of success, as success is all about what matters to you. When you think about how you want your career to look like in a few years from now it will give you an idea about the things you should focus on now. Write down the things you want to achieve in a few years from now and plan out all the actions by those long-term plans. Creating a chart of where you are now, and where you want to be in maybe five to ten years would be a great way to design a roadmap for your career. By defining what success means to you, you are eliminating things that do not allow you to succeed. You can spend the extra time you get on that course which would help you go through the next phase of your success roadmap. And every year you could plan out which position you desire to be in and work towards it. Defining your success makes your work meaningful, and hence, you desire to work for a bigger cause.
2. Set up a Timeline and Establish Goals
A timeline is a schedule of work that has to be completed within a certain deadline. When you set up a timeline and define a goal along with it, it becomes a motivation for you as you use them to strive harder. The set of tasks could be your work or things in your personal life that would probably help in your career. If you could set a goal to complete a certain course, e.g. Digital Marketing, then, schedule a time in your day to complete at least a few lectures or work related to the course. A plan without any action would just be a dream, hence, you have to schedule your timeline and add important tasks that will help you get closer to your career growth which would help you be a better and more successful person. Take a look at your career roadmap and decide the tasks which would help you achieve the goals planned.
Always have a vision for yourself and make bigger goals. However, when you are fulfilling your goals, break them down into smaller, manageable tasks which will become your short-term goals. Considering which skills will help you get that next promotion, or the goal you want to reach your current company will make you understand your short-term goals. This may seem easier to read, but when you are practically applying it, you have to take your time and think critically. Create more short-term goals and focus on three of them at once. When you completed your first three goals, focus on the next ones. The more detailed your plan is, the easier it would be to concentrate on your goals.
3. Come out of your comfort zone
This has been told endless times, but still, people do not understand that being comfortable and staying in the comfort zone are two different things. Always do not settle for the job you are currently doing, and keep learning new skills which will help you gain that higher position in your company. Stretch beyond your comfort zone and understand that being comfortable and staying in your comfort zone are two different things. Look for courses that enhance your knowledge in your domain, and do something that scares you. This means if you are afraid of speaking in public, sign up for presentations in a networking event. Put out your thoughts on the industry if that scares you and look for opportunities where you can stretch your career even further. Nothing about your work life will change if you change nothing. Hence, taking up that public speaking workshop, doing various presentations even if you are scared, and dedicating time to improve yourself, would help you advance your career in the long run.
4. Ask for Feedback
Never be afraid of being criticized, because only then you would know what you have to change about yourself to make sure you are on the correct path. Feedbacks are ways to assess how much you have moved forward from the time you have started. This feedback could be from your peers or managers, who want to see you succeed in your career. If your company conducts feedback only twice a year, you should schedule a meeting with your manager and ask for areas where they think you can improve on. Do not only rely on the feedback that your supervisors give, you should also listen to the reviews from your peers as they would have a different point of view. Most of them may vaguely praise you, where you cannot understand what exactly you have to improve. In this case, you should ask them to point out the specific strengths and weaknesses and provide areas where they think you should improve from the time you have worked together. The more diverse are your sources of feedback, the more you will learn from them.
5. Be honest with your manager
Usually, there are many opportunities in your own company and you could often miss out on them if you are not a social person and do not have much connection with your manager. You can talk to your manager and look at the career opportunities that could be suitable for you in your current company. You can share about how you want to achieve in life and how they could help you in fulfilling your desire for your career growth. When you let your manager know about your aspirations, they look at you as a person with ambition and want to retain you in their company. They will lookout for opportunities that may suit you and may offer you a better position than you are currently working on. If your manager is supportive, they may even help you reach your goals and advise you about certain tips and tricks that they used to achieve their goal.
6. Always Network and use your network
No matter what your goal is, networking is a must in any profession, as it helps the individual to advance their career and growth as a professional. In each stage of the process that you go through, use your network to look for better job opportunities and also help your network if you find any suitable job opportunities for them. Talk about what success means to you to your trusted advisor or mentor and create a long-term goal that you would love to work towards. Enquire about how there would be advancements in your profession in the next few years, and once you have set a particular domain on what you want to work on, network with people who already are working in that field. Cold emailing, and sending a personalized message to generate a network or using professional sites like LinkedIn works wonders when you want to network with people who are working in domains you are interested in. The more information you acquire about your respective field, the clearer it becomes for you to design and pursue your action plan.
7. Learn to Negotiate
Negotiation is one of the most important skills that you have to know to advance your career. Find courses and learn tips about how to interpret the other person during negotiations. When you settle for something that is being offered to you, without negotiation, there was always a chance that you could have got a better position, role, salary, or incentives, for the role you are pursuing. Hence, negotiation would help you achieve a better living and better position in your company. Always understand the appropriate time and way to negotiate, and see to it that you are asking for a reasonable demand. Put yourself in the opposite person’s shoes and imagine what they would find profitable. You have to learn to negotiate for a reasonable position or salary, which you think would be a win-win situation for both parties. You could suggest a solution that would be beneficial for both the parties and also learn to compromise when you have to. You may not get certain things as you planned, however, you may get long-term benefits due to some decisions.
8. Exploring new skill sets
You should never stop learning as there are new skills and updates that you have to know to grow in the industry. You may be in the same position for the past few years because you do not have the skills to progress to a higher position. Participate in training programs and explore options that would advance your career. When you look for development opportunities and be active about reaching the next stage of your career, you would head in the direction of growth.
If you do not find the time to physically attend classes, you can always take an online course which is time-saving and inexpensive. Use online resources to the maximum, and look for lectures related to new skills which are pretty much available for free. You could also read books related to your industry starting from a simple one, and moving on to complex ones. However, one thing you have to remember is that unless you apply all the material and knowledge that you have read, in your life, all the resources would be in vain.
9. Learn from the successful people
When you are overwhelmed about all the challenges you are facing in your work life, and feel stagnated in a particular place, you should look up to a person who has already faced all these challenges in their life. They need not be a famous person, but someone who has an idea about surviving in the industry and becoming successful in your field. When you are working or seeking advice from a person who has gone through the things you are going through, they could anticipate your problems and give you solutions which helped them during their time. The mentor can provide feedback about your performance, and can also give you an idea about how long it would take for you to move to the next stage of your career. Also, before you approach a mentor, look at the things that you can help them out with such that the mentorship could be beneficial for both of you. You can look at the internet for potential mentors, and cold emails them about how you can help them and what you expect from them.
10. Fake it till you make it
This does not mean that you have to lie on your resume and impersonate someone else. “Faking it” means that when you feel that you are not confident or eligible enough to take up a responsibility, you should still give it a try and not let others see that you are underconfident. You should avoid self-deprecating talks and encourage yourself to take on new responsibilities. Self-doubt is like cancer as it grows to an extent that it would not let your career advance any further. When you are faking it and acting confident, the positivity overtakes the negativity and can save you from the challenge. Use your nerves and get an extra source of energy, and go give that presentation that is overwhelming you. When you overcome your fear, you would realize that you were stressing over a small thing and made a mountain out of a molehill. It does not matter if you did not ace the presentation, but you have enough experience to ace the next one. Look at stress and fear as positive factors and effectively channel them.
Everyone wants to advance their career and grow in their respective field, but there are only a few of them who work towards it. You have to understand that a goal without a plan is just a dream, and unless you start working towards your goal it is gonna stay as a dream. When you schedule your time and learn new skills and plan your future, it shows how serious you are to advance in your career. Have a five or ten-year goal and make smaller tasks that would align with your bigger goal. Write down everything you want to achieve and narrow down the things which you are interested in. Look for mentors in your field and reach to them using social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Network with people even if you are not looking for a job and help out people if you see an opportunity that would benefit someone. Advancing in your career is a strenuous process that requires your dedication and sheer will to achieve. At the end of the day, you only have to ask whether you have what it takes to move forward in your career?
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