How business professionals can continue to advance their careers
Are you a business professional who has several years of experience in a management position under your belt? Do you feel as though you have gained everything you possibly can from your current position and are now looking for ways to advance your career?
Sometimes that climb up the career ladder can reach plateaus where you’re unsure of how you can get to that next rung. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way, and the good news is that there are steps you can take to inject life into your career and start that advancement process once again.
To help give you that jumpstart you need and provide you with a little direction, here’s a look at some of the most effective steps you can take.
Set Career Goals
In order to advance your career, you need to come up with some sort of definition of what advancement means to you. Is it a new job, is it senior management, or does it simply mean a higher salary? Your definition of career advancement can then act as the blueprint that makes it possible for you to identify the steps you need to take.
It can also be worth your time to re-examine your career goals every few years. Your passions, skills, and interests can change over time, and that may mean changes to your career goals. It’s all about identifying what will make you happy and satisfied.
Further Your Education
Next, it may be time to further your education. Sure, you’ve already been in the workforce for several years and even in a management position, but that doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know about the business world. Going back to school will not only further your knowledge, but it can help bring you up to speed on the latest practices and tools.
The fact that you can enrol in a distance learning MBA UK based programwithout having to quit your current job makes it both feasible and flexible. These types of programs typically have a number of start dates throughout the year, are done entirely online with no need to visit a campus, are very affordable, and can be completed relatively quickly.
Once you get your MBA online, then you can leverage that degree to find new and exciting opportunities that are a step up from where you currently are. Employers also tend to favour potential candidates who show the initiative to learn more, such as furthering your education, as it shows dedication and passion.
Speak to Your Boss About Your Goals
Sometimes the problem is that your employer is not aware of your career goals and aspirations and may assume that you’re perfectly happy in the job you have. It’s a good idea to set up a meeting wherein you can discuss your one, two, and five-year plan with them. Let them know you want to advance, and ask for feedback on what you can do to make you eligible for a promotion.
At the same time, you’re going to want to be sure you’re making an effort at work and showing talent, skill, initiative, problem-solving abilities, and that you are a team player who is willing to put in all the hard work and extra hours. Keep in mind it’s all about short-term pain for long-term gain.
Get Out and Network
Whether your current employer doesn’t have any advancement opportunities or you just want to look elsewhere, it’s also wise to get out there and network. Attend job fairs and industry events, get on social networks like LinkedIn, and start building your list of contacts. A person’s next job often comes through a network contact nowadays, so take advantage of this fact.
Spruce Up Your Resume
This is also a great time to look at your resume with a critical eye. Because you’ve got your sights set on a more advanced position in the business world, a standard resume just isn’t going to cut it. In fact, it may be worth the investment to speak to a professional resume writing service that can help you craft something that is ideal for your industry and career.
Keep in mind that a resume should be detailed but, at the same time, shouldn’t be too long. You are basically selling yourself and your talents, so this is a time to put all your best skills front and centre. Each and every resume you send out should also include a personalised cover letter just to add that special touch of detail.
Sometimes You Need to Take Risks
Taking risks can be scary at the best of times, and in terms of your career, it’s not something that everyone has the stomach for. Here’s the thing – some of the most successful people out there are the ones that have learned how and when to take risks and truly capitalise on the results.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run an in-depth risk assessment in your head. It just means that you also need to start listening and trusting your gut and sometimes taking that leap of faith that could have a huge payoff. Entrepreneurs are great examples of risk-takers as there’s no way they’d be able to proceed with their dreams and goals to realise their success without a little risk taking.
Don’t Put a Time Crunch on Advancement
Finally, you want to be sure that you aren’t putting too much pressure on yourself and giving yourself a deadline or time crunch. Sure, it would be great to advance your career quickly, but the reality is that it isn’t usually that easy. Learn to have patience, go easy on yourself when things don’t work out how you may have hoped, and continue to push forward and give your best effort at all times.
Career Advancement Isn’t Usually a Fluke
At the end of the day, career advancement isn’t typically a fluke. Rather, it is well thought-out and comes about thanks to your hard work and dedication. Always try to stay focused on your end goals, especially during those tough times that feel like a real road bump.
Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.