How to Move Up in Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May Be Making)

“When you stop growing, you start dying,” the late writer William S. Burroughs once said. It may have a morbid undertone, yet it is completely accurate in terms of one’s professional life.

In today’s world, the days of getting a position with one business for 30 years and simply relaxing as you go up its corporate escalator are few and far between.

This isn’t always a terrible thing. On the contrary, it indicates that you are in command of your own professional development.

You’ll see how to enhance your career swiftly if you put these principles and actions into practice. Ready? Let’s get this party started…

1. Define What Success Is for You

There is no correct or incorrect definition of professional success. What matters is that you figure out what success means to you. It may, and most likely will alter along the route, but if you don’t have some form of horizon marker, you won’t know which way to travel.

Consider your job success in terms of one year, five years, and ten years. It’s time to lace up your boots and get to work once you have it. 

2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

Nobody happens to be successful by chance. They may happen upon breakthroughs or new approaches by chance, but all success stories have one thing in common: a strategy.

Make a plan for what you want to accomplish in your profession over the following year, five years, ten years, and so on. Consider what talents you’ll need to master in order to make these goals a reality, then focus on gaining them. 

Related: The Secret to Discovering Your Dream

3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

It’s common knowledge among musicians that if you want to improve, you should leave your bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

By surrounding yourself with individuals who are better than you and who are where you want to be, you will not only be able to see how they got to where they are in their areas, but you will also be able to learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own.

4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

A mentor can not only help you refine and achieve your career objectives, but they can also assist you land promotions and locate unadvertised job vacancies.

Working on building a relationship with a mentor both inside and outside of your firm is one unique method. As you go through the ranks of your firm and your profession, this will assist you gain new views. 

5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

Even if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself in ten years.

Make a to-do list of items you want to complete the day before, and focus on them for at least an hour before responding to morning emails.

The trouble with replying to emails first is that you’re focusing on someone else’s agenda rather than charting your own path for the day. 

Related: 4 Bad Routines that Might be Injurious to Your Brain

6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

If you go to networking gatherings solely to get a couple free drinks, you’re doing things incorrectly. These gatherings are excellent opportunities to meet new people and build friendships.

It’s not about getting recruited at the end of the night; it’s about making a good impression by being polite and genuine. So, where do we go from here? 

Follow up with an email or a social media message a few days later to reconnect!

7. Pick Up Some New Skills

Nobody wants to be the cynical old dog who refuses to learn new tricks. To advance in your job, you’ll almost certainly need to learn new talents along the route. Perhaps your firm provides on-the-job training, or you can take online classes at night. 

You’ll not only be able to build on what you can already do, but you’ll also make yourself more useful to your current and prospective employers by learning new talents.

Related: Different Types of Motivation for Achieving Your Goals

8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

Remember how we mentioned that your organisation could be able to provide on-the-job training? Take advantage of such opportunities! 

You should go to these if you work for a company that permits you to shadow other employees or conducts corporate mixers.

They not only allow you to further your career within the company, but they also demonstrate to senior executives in your sector that you’re interested in more than simply a paycheck. 

9. Make Yourself Indispensable

Good help is hard to come by, and firms want to keep their best staff. You’ll not only convey that you’re successful, but you’ll also have a lot greater job security if you can learn to make yourself important to your firm. But what exactly does this entail? 

It’s not nearly as complicated as it appears. You’ll stand out among your colleagues if you’re dependable, adaptable to new difficulties, and hold yourself to a high standard in your job and performance. Isn’t that simple? 

Related: How to Live a Full Life by Finding a Sense of Purpose

10. Get Off the Fence

People that develop in their careers are those who aren’t afraid to express themselves and speak up when the opportunity arrives.

If an issue emerges at work and you believe you have a solution or are prepared to try to discover one, inform others. Employers value problem solvers and promote them.

Begin with a modest chore or project and work your way up to more challenging tasks and projects. 

11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

If you want increased responsibilities in your career, go to your boss about it. Your boss may have been so preoccupied with their own work that they were unaware that you were seeking new challenges.

Just make sure you’re capable of handling it and that you’re currently performing well in your existing responsibilities. And if your boss isn’t interested in giving you extra responsibilities, it could be time to look for a new job. 

Related: When You’re Angry At Yourself, Do These Things (For Your Mistakes)

12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

There could be an issue if your professional objectives begin with “I should accomplish this…” When it comes to goals, this kind of wording can consign them to failure because the desire isn’t there.

When setting goals, consider adopting the RUMBA technique (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral, and Agreed). The word “desire” should be used instead of “agreed.”

You’re considerably more likely to succeed if you pursue career goals that you truly want to achieve. 

13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

Simply doing your work may not always be enough to propel you forward in your career. Employees sometimes expect that their employers will recognise their progress and reach out when the moment is perfect to promote them.

Don’t be scared to seek out comments and constructive criticism on a frequent basis. It displays that you care about your job and desire to improve in your chosen sector, as well as that you value your manager’s perspective. 

14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

Working for the correct people can help you advance in your career much faster. Moving up can be difficult if your employer isn’t very competent at their job or doesn’t value you. 

A good manager, on the other hand, will be able to help you leverage your skills and push for your success. If you don’t currently have any excellent talent developers in your management chain, hunt for some and seek them out as mentors. 

15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

Asking for a promotion or increase has a high success rate, with over 70% of respondents to a PayScale survey reporting some success. When you ask, one thing to bear in mind can make all the difference. 

Some corporate cultures encourage that employees inquire about development during their yearly review, although you might work for a more entrepreneurial firm.

Taking note of when others advance and inquiring about how the company conducts staff growth may be the best strategy.

Related: Ways to Overcome a Mental Block

16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

Working hard and putting in a good effort are the keys to progressing in your profession, regardless of your sector. This isn’t to say you have to be absolutely humble about your achievements. 

Keep track of your positive influence within the corporation, and let others know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work, both within your firm and in your profession.

17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

It’s all too simple to make new LinkedIn connections and then forget about them for the rest of your life. Rather than collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should focus on nurturing the ties you currently have. 

Follow up with someone you haven’t heard from in a while, offer to put them in touch with someone you know who works in their sector, or inquire about a new job title they may have taken on.

It’s possible that doing so will prompt a potential job referral. 

18. Join a Professional Organization

Professional groups such as the National Association of (insert your sector here) and others can still provide a plethora of benefits, ranging from networking to market insights and skill development.

Civic organizations, in addition to professional organizations, specialized in certain employment categories, can be excellent places to meet new people.

After all, who you know matters a lot in terms of job progression, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows someone who is seeking someone with your abilities and expertise. 

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