The idea of a career is a fluid concept. At any given time, your job can be fulfilling and rewarding. But there will also be times when you feel stuck in place and want to grow into something bigger and better than where you are now. Luckily, there are many opportunities at work and ways of how to advance in your career. You can switch jobs, get promoted within the same company, or you might choose to take on more responsibility but in your current position.
What is Career Advance?
Career advance is the process of advancing your career upward to the next level by taking on more or new responsibilities.
It might involve working with different people or industries to help you develop new perspectives, learning skills to take on more responsibility to achieve job satisfaction.
How to Advance in Your Career
To many people, getting a promotion at work can be the only goal. For others, it’s simply the next step in their career.
If you’re ambitious and at the point where you are ready to advance in your career at work, then it would be best if you:
1. Exceed Your Manager’s Expectations
Put yourself out there to get the best and more challenging assignments. When you work hard people notice. They see that you’re willing to work your way through problems without turning them into someone else’s drama.
Go the extra mile and surpass expectations. It’s typically not about impressing your manager but proving you’re able to provide value to the organization whatever it takes.
Look at what can be done better or more efficiently and provide real value above and beyond your job description.
The long-term cost of not going beyond expectations is that you’ll slowly fade into the background and become replaceable. And that is not what you want.
2. Speak up when Appropriate
Speaking up at times in the workplace can be a good thing. Speaking up when appropriate is not only considered assertive it’s also proactive and demonstrates that you have insight into sticky situations, skills everyone likes to see in their team.
Everyone appreciates a person who can help or give input relevant to the situation without being pushy. When you are right, speak up loudly. Also, speak when you have new ideas for processes or projects that make things better for everyone.
Speaking up at work is a great way to demonstrate your competence to get promotions and advancements. It can put you on your manager’s radar as someone suitable for a promotion or better opportunities down the line.
3. Work with the Person you Admire
The people you spend the most time with are often your boss, co-workers, and sometimes even customers or clients.
When you work with people every day, they become a part of who you are as reflected in your actions, thoughts, personality, and character.
By choosing to surround yourself with different types of people, it’s possible to develop more diverse skills that will help grow your career.
It’s good to learn from people who know more than you, especially if they are on your team or in the same company.
4. Keep an Open Mind about Change
Accepting change may be difficult to wrap your head around, but it most often will make a huge difference for your company’s long-term success during tough times.
Employers usually want employees who can handle change. And employees who are open to change get more opportunities for growth and advancement at the workplace.
Keep in mind that focusing on whether or not you like a particular idea rather than viewing it as an opportunity to learn might be counterproductive.
Not embracing new ideas means limiting exposure to innovation and experience, both of which are crucial for professional development today. Change makes many employees uncomfortable, but most times lead to good things.
Employers want employees who can handle change. And when you’re open to changes, you can get more opportunities to grow your career because change comes with new things to learn and do.
You might not like a new idea, but instead of thinking about why it won’t work, try to learn from it. When you don’t embrace new ideas, you limit your exposure to innovation and experience, both necessary for advancing your career.
5. Find Influential People at Work
There are many reasons why having influential people at work can be beneficial to your career growth. One of the reasons is that these people can serve as potential mentors and sponsors.
They can offer their guidance, provide advice they’ve gathered from their careers through experience, act as a sounding board for your ideas, or help you get a promotion.
Secondly, when leading a project, it’s often helpful to have senior people with varied experiences or backgrounds because they might offer you some credible advice from their past experiences.
Through an introduction or mutual connection, you can get closer to the people who matter and who would be able to provide a strong recommendation for your next career move.
6. Make Yourself Indispensable
For advancing your career at work, it’s best to take a long-term approach. Go in with the mindset that you’re there to do a job and not just “get ahead”.
It’s about your team, organization, and making an actual contribution. Make yourself a valuable resource that will make people rely on you whenever they need help to do things.
Provide meaningful feedback. Get back with customers quickly — and most importantly, be flexible enough to change as the situation warrants.
Being indispensable at work means if your boss trusts you’ll take on more responsibility when they’re under pressure.
Read also: 16 Character Traits of a Hard Worker
7. Learn More Skills
Any employee who has been steadily improving their skills can be markedly easier for management to promote internally. If multiple jobs are available at your workplace, spend a bit of your time in one that can teach you something new.
Having broader skills is a consideration in promoting people because it’s challenging to anticipate the direction of a company.
If you can step into multiple roles at once, you will be more valuable than hiring or having two people who only know one thing.
Broadening your skill sets requires you to stretch yourself outside of what may be comfortable or easy. So, build your skill set to increase your chances for career advancement.
Also, consider taking on projects you can finish quickly than those that take longer because more short projects will give you an advantage for rapid career growth.
8. Show Initiative and Willingness
Volunteering to take on extra responsibilities at your workplace has several benefits. You’re not only doing something good but also helping yourself out professionally.
You will have the opportunity to show initiative and responsibility through a willingness to help when needed. In other words, you demonstrate commitment to the company and build goodwill by sharing the workload with others.
You gain valuable experience on tasks outside of your current role, which helps position you for future promotions or roles beyond what you currently do.
It can also show your manager or others that you are interested in taking more responsibility or working outside your comfort zone.
9. Ask for a Promotion
Many people feel content and comfortable in their roles, but there are other reasons why you might be in the same job for a long time.
The most obvious one is that if you don’t ask for more responsibility, no one will do it for you — no matter how much potential they may see in you.
So, before you get too comfortable and let your career stagnate, consider the benefits of gaining a promotion. If you don’t do anything, you could plateau—without receiving any promotion for years.
No matter how long you have been in your company, it’s never too late to consider requesting a promotion at work.
Employees make mistakes believing that once they stay with an organization for many years, there is nothing more they can do.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Be proactive about your career development, especially if you’ve been doing the same thing for years, and know that it could evolve into something else.
10. Seek out a Mentor
It is not just a coincidence that everyone needs another person to tell them what to do. The truth is that even if you are so talented in your field, there will always be something new at work to learn and improve.
Having a Mentor can help you navigate many workplace career barriers. It is easier to skip company politics because your mentor will guide you to navigate away from such a practice.
They can provide industry-specific insight that many people are not aware of, which might result in promotions or new opportunities down the line.
A Mentor can also help you set realistic goals based on your skills, interests, personality – and provide you with tips and strategies on getting where you want to go.
In other words, a mentor can offer an external voice and perspective on career goals that may be tough for you to articulate on your own.
11. Promote Yourself
Make yourself memorable at work by regularly putting out new ideas that can start conversations with other employees.
Most people shy away from self-promotion in their work because they don’t want to come across as arrogant, egotistical, or bragging.
However, there’s a difference between self-promotion and egoism. Self-promotion is putting your skills and experience to use for your team or company’s success.
It isn’t what you say about yourself — it’s what you do that benefits your company and helps them succeed.
Broaden your knowledge so that you can speak on topics outside your area of expertise in casual conversation without feeling self-conscious.
The ability to talk about more than just one thing puts people at ease and makes them feel good about coming back and asking you more questions.
Consider how many times others have put themselves first without feeling selfish or vaunting their worth. Most people have done this at one time or another, so do the same by taking advantage of every opportunity which presents itself to promote yourself.
Advance your in career at work by investing in yourself. Whether you’re happy with your current role or not, advancement is a matter of personal effort and making the right decisions when needed.
Start by figuring out what do you want to become. It will guide your goals and help you determine how to develop your skills and experience.
There are many career growth opportunities at work. But you need to demonstrate that you can contribute to the company and foster its growth.
How do you advance in your career? Please leave your thoughts in the comment below