Completing your studies and landing your first job is only just the beginning of your career. Once you are settled, you should start taking steps to advance and develop your profession. When you invest in career progression, you will get better job satisfaction, greater opportunities and better pay packages. This article highlights six easy steps you can take to advance your career.
Know Your Strong and Weak Points
A self-evaluation is the first key step you should take. Start by making a list of your skills that contribute to the success of your career. These include what you learned in school as well as interpersonal skills such as a positive attitude. Next, evaluate your weak points. It is essential to look at your weaknesses because they can be a stumbling block in advancing your career. Thankfully, many people are able to get past their weak points through training, case interview coaching and practice. When making your lists, consider asking people who know you well including family, friends, workmates and your employer for input. At times, other people will see your strengths and weaknesses more clearly than you do.
Set Your Career Goals
There are so many options when it comes to career advancement and development. You can move your career in four key directions. One, you can work towards a promotion in the same company. Two, you can expand your skillset so as to broaden your work profile. With more skills, an individual can assume different roles in one or more companies. For instance, if you have computer and accounting skills, you can work fulltime as a computer programmer in one company and as a part time accountant in another company.
Three, you can consider a change in work environment, or move from a 9 to 5 job to self-employment. Finally, you can change your career if you are not happy with your current one. Consider setting both long-term and short-term goals. Short term goals will guide you in doing the best in your current position whereas long term goals will help in planning for the future.
List Skills You Need to Achieve Goals
After setting your goals, list the skills you need to achieve these goals. In some cases, you may need to go back to school to get a different degree or an advanced one. For instance, a nurse who aspires to be an independent care provider can consider a master’s degree through online nursing programs in Connecticut. Online courses make career advancement and development easier since you can study as you work. Short term courses can be beneficial too when growing skills to advance a career. And finally, some skills can be self-taught using free resources on the internet.
Come Up with an Action Plan
After identifying where you are going and what it will cost you to get there, come up with an action plan. Set timelines for achieving goals and gaining new skills. If you have to learn a number of things, give priority to the most important ones. Also, plan how you are going to pay for school and training. The best way to finance your studies while working a job is to set aside some money with every pay check. You could also take a part time job for a few months to boost your savings.
Take Advantage of Training Programs by Employers
Most companies offer a number of training programs to grow their employees’ knowledge and skills. Check the programs offered by your employer and don’t hesitate to make suggestions for new programs where the employer gives you that provision.
Do Your Best in Your Current Position
As you look forward to a change in career, promotion or change in work environment, do your best in your current position. Work hard as if you own the company and maintain good relationships with your colleagues and employers. When you do your best, you reduce your chances of getting fired and boost chances of getting a promotion. Also, exceptional service will earn you a good recommendation when your days at the company are over. Finally, by maintaining a good attitude, you will avoid workplace stress and enjoy your job.
Growing your career can be tough, but it is achievable if you plan well. If you are not sure of the career direction you should take, consider seeking help from a career coach. This is a professional who can help in identifying your goals, reviewing your skillset, finding opportunities for growth, and choosing a career path, among others.