Last Updated on 17th August 2021

Career advancement comes in various forms, such as climbing to a corporate position or increasing wages; all employees gain motivation from the likelihood of career advancement. However, gone are the days when you could sit down and relax as you watch yourself move up the career ladder. Many workplaces are still coping with the recession’s impact; it’s easy to get tired and give up when you feel stuck. Today, with job competitiveness, you must advance your career fast with the following steps.

Define what you want for success

Many people feel stagnated in their careers because they are always on the fence about what they want. When you don’t have a clear definition of what success means to you, it becomes challenging to take measures towards career development. Although your ambitions may change along the way, it’s crucial to have a sense of direction. Think about the milestones you want to achieve in short-term and long-term periods and start working towards achieving them.

Get higher education

Any effort you put into increasing your knowledge and skills through education increases the possibility of advancing your career.  Whether you’re going back to school to complete your degree, enrolling in a masters of nursing online, or a doctorate program, higher education makes you a better candidate for a job promotion.

Compared to traditional learning methods, attending online classes gives you the flexibility to keep performing in the workplace. Additionally, as you advance your knowledge and skills, you become more efficient at work. You also prove to managers that you are serious about career advancement. As you grow your education, don’t forget to update your resume.

Have goals and communicate them

Many employees work hard and hope that it is enough to get them recognized and given higher positions. While working hard is essential and boosts your company’s growth, it is critical to communicate with your employer about your future goals.

When your employer sees you working hard, they consider you when there are vacancies for higher posts. However, this doesn’t mean that you should make demands and give them ultimatums; they are still in charge of making decisions they feel are best for the business. If you put in the effort and work hard for long without achieving any growth, this could signify that you’re due for a new employer; be open-minded and maintain a positive attitude.

Invest time in your network

The people you network with ultimately contribute to your growth in the industry and beyond. Don’t be that person who only contacts their network when they need a favor. Maintain communication and invest time; catch up over coffee, introduce them to other friends, attend events they invite you to, and remember important dates to your network. This way, they will grant you support when you need it and forward opportunities your way when they arise.

Stay healthy

Health is wealth, and it’s one of the assets that can advance your career fast. If you are always burnout at work, slow, and can’t take on extra roles, how can you perform better in higher positions? When you’re constantly unhealthy and need to take leaves, it’s challenging to advance your career as you may not be considered for promotions; it’s assumed you will not perform optimally. Take care of your health by exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, getting a good night’s sleep, and maintaining a social life for your mental health.

Improve your soft skills

Many people who have a hard time in the workplace and are labeled ‘bad’ by other employees or supervisors lack soft skills. These include conflict resolution, self-awareness, proper communication, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking. Apart from advancing your education, improving your soft skills can help you form better relationships at work through improved interactions. These interactions can be your getaway to career promotion.

Be reliable

It’s challenging to find good help around, even in the workplace. Employers are always looking for people who will solve existing problems fast. If you want to advance your career, be that employee who’s always ready to help and offer solutions; be indispensable and reliable. Adapt to the latest challenges, stay informed, and perform up-to-standard. By doing so, you will secure job security and success in career advancement.

Take advantage of the benefits

Many organizations offer benefits that the majority of employees are unaware of or choose to ignore. If your company provides training opportunities, take advantage. If you’re working in a company that holds networking events and company mixers to job shadow employees, make sure you’re in attendance. Such opportunities enable you to advance your skills and prove to executives that you’re ready to take your career up the ladder.

Join professional organizations

Professional organizations offer more than networking platforms; they have various advantages, such as developing your skills through workshops and seminars and providing industry insights. Being in a particular professional organization and contributing can place you in a favorable position for job promotions. You may also meet with employers within the same organization looking for your experience and expertise and willing to offer you a higher role.

Pay attention to feedback

Getting to work on time and doing your job may not be enough to push you up the career ladder. Many times, employees assume that employers will notice their efforts and consider them for promotions. However, one thing you might be ignoring is feedback from your boss. When your employer assesses your work, pay attention to constructive criticism and do better where you didn’t perform well. Also, remember to do a self-assessment, ask relevant questions regarding feedback, and seek help if need be.

Seek mentorship and mentor others

No one comes into an organization knowing precisely what they should do. Career advancement is one of the areas many employees experience a hard time with, for example, when communicating with their bosses about goals, asking for considerations during promotions, or salary increases. Seeking mentorship from someone who has been in the field or organization for a long time can help you advance your career by providing advice, feedback on professional decisions, and insights to propel you to success.

When picking a mentor, ensure they are knowledgeable and open to your questions. Additionally, you can also mentor other employees or interns who join the organization; this can help you remind yourself of learned skills and prove you to be a capable person to help and lead others.

Be a leader

When you prove yourself to be a leader, you have a higher chance of moving up in your organization. Most times, when promotional opportunities arise, employers first consider those who have shown their ability to handle leadership positions. As you seek career advancement, find opportunities to prove your leadership capabilities and hone these tactics. Take up roles like leading your team during projects, ask for extra responsibilities, and acquire leadership characteristics; inspire others, be collaborative, and be willing to help.

Focus on results, not time

If you work on an hourly basis, you may develop the mentality that working more hours equals more value. However, this isn’t the case. Value is measured by the quality of output you give. If you aim to advance your career, lose this attitude and ensure you produce worthwhile results daily while maintaining a solid work ethic.

Stretch yourself

Suppose you’ve invested energy and time towards preparations to advance your career, and there doesn’t seem to be any upcoming opportunities; stretch yourself. Success comes when you decide to get out of your comfort zone; be bold and do something that scares you. You can directly ask your boss for a promotion, sign up for networking events, presentations, ask for opportunities outside your area of expertise, or start applying for jobs in other organizations.

Navigate power

Depending on your career ambitions, such as becoming a manager or senior vice president, you may want to begin understanding how people in these positions operate. This way, you can prepare for such future roles while setting yourself apart from other employees. Additionally, if you lack particular skills, whether soft or hard, the workplace can provide an ideal learning space.

Be sharp and observe things, such as their decision-making, how people in power set priorities, their ways of communication, conflict management, and how they behave around others. Suppose you want to become better at communication, observe how your colleagues format and style their emails. Borrow a page or two from your seniors to prepare yourself for future job demands.

Be organized

Organization aids excellence and consistency, all of which are essentials of success in the workplace. When you’re organized with your work, dressing, and personal life, you stand out among other employees; you also become efficient by prioritizing goals and tasks that matter. When you stand out, employers start to notice you, boosting your chances of career advancement. If being organized doesn’t come naturally to you, use resources such as personal organization tools.

Get out of a rut in your career; work your way out through networking, communicating your goals, and staying healthy. Take advantage of training opportunities offered by your employer, seek mentorship, stretch yourself and advance your education for higher chances for consideration in job promotions.

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