In your professional life, it is inevitable that you will seek advancement at one point or the other. Whether it’s a promotion in the same company or a new job with significantly more benefits, every hardworking and competent professional will desire a newer and challenge or higher pay at some point. It is therefore imperative that you take out time to learn how to easily advance your career and make that your normal way of work.
In this article, we’ll look at personal principles, mind shifts and other tips that allow you to remain at the top of your game and get access to better job opportunities.
Create a Career Advancement Plan
It is common saying that if you fail to plan, then you might as well as be planning to fail. As such, it is imperative that you have a plan, a roadmap of what you want your professional life to be like as you go on. When you have a plan, staying on track and actually making progress becomes much easier because you have something to aim for.
In your Career advancement plan, here are a few things you want to implement:
Know Where You Are
The first step to advancing in your career and getting better job opportunities is to determine accurately the level that you are. Once you realize your position on the skills and competencies ladder, you can then begin to plan how to move to the next level.
Know the Skills required in your Industry
Every industry and position will most likely have some specific skills that are required. For instance, if you work in the software development industry, then proficiency in relevant programming languages is probably required. Once you are aware of the skills required in your industry, you can then begin to look into acquiring them.
Invest in Continuing Education
Obviously, you must have undergone some kind of education and/or training to get to whatever position you currently occupy. Unfortunately, many professionals seem to think that learning stops immediately after they graduate from college or end a period of formal training. While some kinds of jobs and positions do require that you update your knowledge or take additional courses, it is a good practice to ensure that you keep improving yourself. When viewed from a personal standpoint, learning ensures that your mind stays sharp, which is something that you definitely want to have when pushing for a better job opportunity or more pay. From a professional standpoint, the more knowledgeable you are, the more qualified and valuable become, and as such, you have access to more prestigious job offers.
If you are not thrilled at the idea of sitting in a classroom or going back to your college days of extensive studying, then you are in luck. There are multiple channels by which you can continually improve yourself, from online courses and tutorials to more professional development books, and many other training materials. Really, the web provides you with so many options that there is no reason for you not to improve yourself. The advantages of this method of professional development is that you can develop yourself at your own pace.
To put the effects of continually developing yourself into perspective, in the United States, the top 25% of web developers earn an average salary of $93,670. When you compare this to the median annual salary of $67,790, the benefits of developing yourself professionally cannot be overestimated.
Increase Your Network
It is said that your network is you net-worth. While that may not be literally true, it is true that they more connected you are, the easier it would be to get a better job offer and thus, more pay. Top recruiters are more likely to hire individuals who are recommended by people within their circle. Therefore, you should build your professional network both on and offline. Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. All that is required is that you make an effort and be consistent about it. Attend conferences and workshops in your industry and area of expertise. For instance, if you are a WordPress developer, WordCamp are locally held WordPress networking events. This and other types of events are great for meeting high net-worth individuals in your industry. So even if you are not an extrovert, take the time and initiative to attend networking events, you’ll be the better for it.
When it comes to your online network, you should also strive to create a network within your industry. LinkedIn is one of the best places to do this online. Ensure that your profile is well optimized. Having a professional online presence is important, especially when you are applying for a new job.
Develop Leadership Skills
As you go higher in your career, it is very likely that you make a switch from working on tasks directly to managing people. In other words, as you climb higher on the corporate ladder, you will begin to take more responsibility over the people that perform specific tasks, rather than performing the tasks themselves. Here’s what I mean, if you start out in the marketing department of a company, you might be tasked with say, email marketing or social media advertising. If you keep rising however, and get promoted to head of marketing, your duties will revolve around dealing with employees in the marketing department, as well as managing resources. Thus, you need to develop leadership skills. Skills such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking, complex problem solving, project management skills, etc. By paying attention to these particular soft skills’, you stand a chance of getting hired for better jobs.
So, there you have it, our foolproof advice for getting ahead in your career. As you pay attention to the aspects of your corporate life, you become a more valuable member of your organization, opening up access to better and more rewarding job opportunities.