You’ve spent years of your life receiving an education and likely spent a few dollars along the way, to land in a career that will suit your life. You secured the role got the job, you made it; now what? You know you want to continue to develop your career, but how do you actually progress in your career? It may seem daunting but fear not because with a few tips your career can soar.
Advancement is what turns a specific role/job into a career. Working hard day after day with no advancement can be draining. To be happy in a career, humans need to feel a sense of completion. It’s important to challenge yourself and to grow in your position. Career advancement can look different for individuals. It may be seen as increasing salary, expanding knowledge, or a promotion to a new position.
One of the best ways to advance your career is by setting goals. Goals should be both long-term and short-term and be SMART.
SMART goals are:
Indeed, an organization to assist people in finding career paths, suggests SMART goals can be pivotable to building your career path.
Long Term Goals
These goals should be larger and may take years to complete. Examples of long-term goals may be to receive an award in your field, become an industry leader, or advance to a specific level in the organization position. It’s important to have long-term goals for your career advancement, but that doesn’t make it clear how to achieve your aspirations.
The best way to achieve long-term goals is with short-term goals.
Short Term Goals
Think of short-term goals as a step-by-step guide to your long-term goals. Having many short-term goals can greatly increase your chances of completing the long-term goals. Short-term goals should be smaller and easier to obtain. It may look like reading industry work 15 minutes a day, working to better relationships with colleagues, or meeting with a mentor weekly.
Increasing industry knowledge can be one of the most beneficial things you can do to advance your career. Educating yourself can come in many different forms. It can be reading books, professional blogs, or other industry-related resources. Reading is a great way to prepare yourself for new opportunities as they arise. Another way to educate yourself is to network. Networking is a crucial skill to have. Beyond creating connections with other organizations, networking is a great way to share knowledge, advice and explore how others have advanced their careers. Finally, one of the most obvious, and important, forms of education is via classes in school.
Once you have begun to develop a career, returning to school to further your education and skills may not feel like a viable option. In actuality, the school may be a great path for you. Receiving a master’s while in a career can make you stand out to employers. A master’s not only advances your trade knowledge, but it also increases your credibility making you the ideal candidate. Not to mention it looks great on a resume. It is also may be easier than you think to get a master’s while working on career advancement. Many schools, like the University of Wyoming, advertise that they will work around your schedule and offer online programs to best suit you in balancing work and school. You should also have a conversation with your corporate human resources to see if the company offers programs to cover the costs of higher education. Even if there are no programs in place, your HR representative may still have helpful resources or other services that can assist in education for career advancement.
Opportunities in the Workplace
There are also many ways to advance your career within the workplace. Career advancement doesn’t have to require a position or role job change. Forbes suggests career advancement begins within your current position. Developing a strong professional relationship with management can be a key to success. Having a mutual understanding of your intentions to advance your career can create a space where you can ask questions, ask for more responsibility, or simply gain more experience. Demonstrate that your time in the office is valuable and your work matters to the business. If you are working remotely demonstrate how this time is also valuable to the organization. You should also search for ways to take on smaller leadership roles.
Next Steps in Career Advancement
Putting in the effort to advance your career can result in many rewards. It can result in a happier workplace, pay increase, or satisfaction in finding your industry niche. As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, You should set both long and short-term SMART goals, educate yourself with reading, networking, and classes, while looking for opportunities in your current position. Investing in yourself and your advancements is one that is sure to pay off. Remember – it is your career – you have a say by looking forward to opportunities.