Ways we can move up the ladder and advance our career path
In an ideal situation, work either contributes directly toward attaining a specific career or is merely a step on the path toward it. Just like anything else, having a clear-cut plan is the best way to ensure that you get the career that you want. The road can be long and hard, and there will be times when you will lose focus and start to question the course you have decided on. But with hard work, persistence, time, and patience, you may be able to have that dream career you have always wanted.
Here are some tips that may help you get started on the right path–or stay on it.
It may seem fairly obvious, but it is surprising how many people decide to launch a career without having a clear idea of what the career is, and what it involves. The first step toward achieving a goal is defining that goal. You may therefore find it helpful to decide on a few career options right from the start, taking into consideration factors such as your skills, knowledge, and experience. It’s important to remember that a job and a career does not define you. Even if you hate your current job try to view it as something temporary. In the meantime take action, it’s easy to dwell in the comfort of indecision but it’s a dark and lonely place.
Map out a plan
After deciding on a career and I hope it’s something you are ether good at or passionate about otherwise mark it as a temporary stop on your way to bigger and better things. The next crucial step is planning out the most efficient and most effective path toward achieving that career. A good, solid plan will help you identify the most important steps toward career advancement, and the sequence in which you need to take them. A definitive plan will also help you stay on course during the occasional difficult periods when your drive and passion will inevitably wane.
A good place to start is with LinkedIn.
Simply do a search for your desired role and take a look at the various people. While you are browsing note the level of experience, the education, maybe a common entry level role they all held. Next pay special attention to the skills they list on their profiles. There will be lots of unknown programs and tools, write them all down. Lets say they all mention Pivot tables. After some reasarch I find this video that teaches me how to do pivot tables in excel.
I watch it a few times, I repeat the exercise and now I have a new skill to list on my resume. What’s next? I hope you get the message, again it is the action not the planning that will get you from A to B. I also believe in “just in time learning“; yes maybe it made up but it’s all to easy to get over saturated with information. Have your lists and knock them out one by one when you can, as long as you are progressing then that is all that matters.
Make sure you keep adding skills to your Linkedin profile and take some time to optimize it a bit: Here is out LinkedIn optimization guide.
Add to your skill set
Building a career is a process, it’s not something that happens over night; you have to constantly work at it. Don’t be content to merely rely on your current skill set, as impressive as it may be. Factors may vary depending on your particular career or profession, but ‘in-demand’ skills may change considerably from time to time. By constantly working on adding to your skill set, you may be able to prevent stagnation and redundancy. Don’t get bored, that is the real trick. If you are allowed to wear headphones don’t simply listen to the radio or pandora. Try to find a podcast that relates to your future goals, you would be surprised how many world renowned experts you can hear talk at TED
Listen to things that will inspire you, keep you motivated and positive. We spend half our life at work, make that time worth it for you first.
Concurrent with adding to your skills, you should also explore opportunities in related fields, or even alternate career paths. You don’t necessarily want to “switch horses mid-stream”, but you do want to keep your eyes open to potential opportunities. Keep in mind that such opportunities can come from anywhere–both from totally unrelated fields or in those directly related to your own–so keep an open mind and don’t automatically disregard potentially rewarding career options because of your preconceived notions about a company or the products they sell.
Establish a network
Regardless of the career path you have chosen, you can help increase your chances of success by establishing a solid network of contacts and building good business relationships. You definitely won’t want to be seen as someone who uses personal relationships to get ahead, so strive to maintain professionalism at all times. If you can help to make introductions do so right away without expecting in return. When you have the chance to be right chose to be kind instead. Little disputes about this or that will only make life miserable for you, if you are having constant disputes at work it’s to switch the environment.
Building a career can take a long time, and there are bound to be many challenges along the way. With time and effort however–as well as the tips outlined above–you may be well on the way to an ultimately rewarding career.