Are you ambitious and hard-working but struggling to take your career to the next level? Here are five ways to take your career to the next level.
1. Develop Initiative
Professionals who are motivated, entrepreneurial and demonstrate initiative are some of the most sought after. Initiative is something that you can develop. It is a skill that you can master. It begins by defining your career goals and spotting key opportunities.
In the first instance, you need to understand your role, the organization and the business. Then you can create a career plan with specific goals you want to achieve. Having a clear idea of where you want to go will allow you to spot opportunities that will help you get where you want to be.
Next, while looking for opportunities to show initiative think about areas in your company that need improvement. Examine the business functions, talk to others in your industry and ask questions. Think about the organisation’s stakeholders, internal and external. Ask for feedback where possible and inquire with them if they have any suggestions on which you can improve. This may be in relation to more efficient service, better quality or better customer relations.
Also, look at the current problems the company is experiencing and think about how you could make a difference. What is causing the problems? Who is involved in finding a solution and how can you help them?
2. Become An Expert In Your Field
In addition to showing initiative, another way to take your career to the next level is by becoming an expert in your current job. The expert is someone in authority who can solve problems for others. If you can offer valuable solutions others pay attention. Particularly those in seniority.
To become an expert you must pay attention to the key trends driving your industry. You should have an in-depth knowledge of the technologies and developments emerging. In addition to any new ideas or systems that could help transform your business.
The expert is the one asked to present new ideas, lead key projects and educate colleagues. They are the ones who are confident in their abilities, are willing to help others and will use every opportunity to communicate their expertise.
3. Continuous Learning
Being a lifelong student will help you both professionally and personally. Constantly learning will help keep your knowledge up to date, your skills fresh and your brain in a state of readiness. Having an in-depth knowledge of your company, market and wider industry will help you to spot opportunities for improvement and development. This will also help you to become an expert in your field, as outlined above.
You should use every opportunity to learn, either through formal or informal means. This includes academic study, training, seminars and conferences as well as industry reports and white papers. Foster relationships with colleagues in your organization and with peers in your wider network.
4. Be Self-Promotional
We often think of self-promotion in terms of shameless bragging. However to take your career to the next level, it’s time to re-define being self-promotional and accept it as part of your career plan.
Firstly, keep track of your achievements. This simple task is often overlooked but it is important to document your developing skills and key achievements. Next, stay connected to your internal and external networks. Share your wins and be prepared to talk about your accomplishments within these networks.
5. Think Positively
Positive thinking helps you see opportunities in any situation. Research suggests that those who foster a positive attitude greatly improve their chances of professional development. Positive thinking can help you to be more determined, motivated and innovative in the workplace.
Use positive language and body language. Surround yourself with positive people and be your own advocate. Being positive brings attention to your achievements and opens the prospects for more collaborations. Positivity strengthens your own self-confidence and inspires others to want to work with you.