If you are passionate about your industry but feel stuck in your current role, you shouldn’t be afraid to push yourself harder to achieve your career ambitions and enjoy greater job satisfaction.
If you want to work your way up through a company and receive the recognition you know you deserve, you must attempt to create your own path. Here are eleven steps to growing in your career.
Step 1: Set Goals for Yourself Every Year
You cannot sit back and wait for a promotion or pay raise to be handed to you. Prove to an employer you are serious about your career and climb the corporate ladder by setting goals for yourself every year and don’t stop until you complete them. For example, it could be completing an industry course, delivering a major business pitch, or securing a business award for yourself or your team.
Step 2: Focus on Professional Development
It is likely your current company is filled with a variety of talents and skills, which could lead a colleague to secure a promotion over you. If you want to be an employer’s first choice when a job opening arises, you should focus on professional development.
For example, if you’re an educator and want to secure a higher salary and help children to reach their academic potential, consider enrolling in an online master's in reading, which can fit around your busy schedule.
Suppose you are willing to invest your spare time into improving your knowledge, skills, and qualifications. In that case, it could be a matter of time until you’re transitioning into a bigger and better role in the business.
Step 3: Make the Most of Your Lunch Break
Many hard-working professionals spend their lunch break browsing social media, calling loved ones, or chatting to their co-workers. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a little downtime during the working day, there could be better ways to spend your time.
If you want to land a promotion, spend your break watching a training video, reading an industry article, or working on your professional training course. It could be the difference between you excelling in your career and blending into the crowd of employees.
Step 4: Don’t Waste Your Commute
Don’t spend your commute, staring out of a train window or sitting quietly in a traffic jam. Instead, use the time to your advantage by listening to an industry audiobook, reading a textbook to brush up on your knowledge, or reading a trade article on your smartphone.
It will help you to learn more about your industry and stay up-to-date on the latest news, which could help you to articulate your ideas during a meeting or it could improve your performance. Remember, if it takes an hour to reach your workplace and an hour to arrive home, that’s a whopping ten hours of knowledge you could gain each week.
Step 5: Discuss Your Path with Your Manager
If you believe you have completed every challenge you are going to face in your current role, and are looking for a position that’s more stimulating, it might be time to arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss your career path.
If you feel ready to embark on the next step in your career, you’ll need to discuss the actions to take or skills you need to acquire to do so. If you can create a growth strategy together, you will understand how to secure a new position at the business.
If, however, your manager believes a position may not arise or you are not quite right for a role, you might be wise to set your sights on a career at a different brand to reach your professional goals.
Step 6: Grow Your Network
Forming personal and professional relationships with people inside and outside your industry could be the key to your success. If you want to receive glowing recommendations, be recommended for job vacancies, or secure a big client for a firm, you must build a strong network. It also never hurts to connect with your former colleagues and employers, as they might reach out to you should an opportunity arise at their company that they think you could be perfect for.
So, if you haven’t already done so, create an impressive LinkedIn profile that should highlight your experience, skills, and qualifications. Plus, the stronger your network is online, the more endorsements you will receive from your professional acquaintances, former employers, and current and former members of staff. A positive review on your profile could convince a prospective employer or client that you’re worthy of their time.
Step 7: Gain Experience in Different Departments
Most senior members of staff are often required to have in-depth knowledge of different departments within the business, which will allow them to make more informed company decisions. If you want to prove you have the flexibility to join members of management, aim to gain more experience in different departments. For example, if you work in a digital marketing agency, find out more about the inner workings of search engine optimization, web design, and account management.
It could help you to learn new skills, which you could apply to your own role, and it will prove you have an excellent understanding of the pressure and strains placed on the business each working day. By expanding your skill set, you could develop a big-picture outlook an employer is looking for in a member of management, so they might be more inclined to offer you a position should a senior member of staff leave the business.
Step 8: Master Strategic Thinking
Most employers are looking for employees who aren’t afraid to show some initiative in the workplace. If you want to rise through the company’s ranks with ease, adopt a strategic approach to your performance. For example, ask yourself what issues the brand is currently tackling and how you can apply your skills to ensure the company’s growth and profitability.
To become a strategic thinker, you must keep up-to-date with the latest economic, industry, or political trends or events, which could impact the company in the near or distant future. As a result, you could prevent a future obstacle from affecting the business, so your team won’t need to waste time attempting to resolve a problem that could have been avoided. Your advice or actions could lead to an employer taking notice of your forward-thinking attitude, which could ensure your growth with the business.
Step 9: Don’t Be Afraid to Use Your Voice
While there is nothing wrong with being shy, reserved, or laidback, the traits could be holding you back in your career. Employers want to promote members of staff who aren’t afraid to air their opinions and who have confidence in their ideas. If you fail to speak up during meetings or input ideas during a brainstorming session, they might believe you have little to offer the business and may lack confidence in your ability.
To excel in your career, you shouldn’t be afraid or reluctant to use your voice, and you must have confidence in your ideas or opinions to encourage people to listen carefully to what you have to say. Speaking up could prove you’re a knowledgeable, experienced staff member, which could lead to you becoming a high-ranking figure at an organization.
Step 10: Raise Your Profile
If your current company doesn’t offer opportunities to raise your profile, take the matter into your own hands and do everything you can to build a positive reputation in your industry.
For example, you could hunt for speaker opportunities at an industry conference, or you could write a blog to share your industry knowledge and insights. By developing your personal brand, you could encourage other companies to take notice of your talents and skills – or your existing business might realize you’re an asset to the organization. Plus, it can be a superb way to network with professionals across your industry.
Step 11: Get to Know Your Employer and Colleagues
A friendly rapport with your employer and co-workers cannot only make you feel more satisfied in your role but could lead to you quickly climbing the corporate ladder. By getting to know your boss or colleagues on a personal level, they’ll gain an understanding of your strengths and personality, so they might be more likely to hire you for a position or support you should you secure a promotion.
To build friendly relationships with others, take an interest in their personal lives, remember their loved ones’ names, and make time to talk to them, even if you have a busy schedule. If you take a genuine interest in others and are willing to listen to what they have to say, your new friendship could lead to many doors being opened up to you across the business.
Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t easy, and it won’t happen overnight. It will take a great deal of hard work, patience, and dedication. If you’re willing to connect with others, use your voice and expand your skill set, it might be possible to secure promotion after promotion. It is, therefore, essential to follow the tips above to secure a senior position.