If you are seeking advancement in your career, then it is important to define what advancement means to you.
Is it an increase in pay or a more desirable schedule? Is it a management role or a role that is more aligned with your skills? The definition of career advancement varies from one person to the next and can be key in determining whether or not a potential employer offers career advancement opportunities. Once you have landed a job in the industry that you desire, it is important to be aware of the ways that you can stand out as a potential candidate for advancement. This does not always mean long work hours. Instead, focus on managing your time wisely and providing high quality work within your scheduled shifts. If you end up in an entry-level position, look towards potential for growth. Even if you are not currently in the industry that you would like to be in, there are still a number of ways that you can prepare for your future career. For more on career advancement, review the information that has been provided within the sections below.
Career advancement can mean a great many things. It can be reference to recognition, new job responsibilities, career related credentials, an increase in hourly or salary wages, a more desirable work schedule, obtaining a higher position within the company or the opportunity to gain experience across multiple professional fields. Not every employer offers career advancement opportunities and some employers may not present a clear path to progress. Additionally, some employees may be perfectly satisfied with where they currently are in their career and not have an interest in advancement.
Once you have defined what career advancement means to you, it is important to keep these goals in mind when searching for employment. Recent polls have shown that only 44 percent of companies within the United States and Canada regularly offer career advancement opportunities. Inquire whether or not a company provides advancement by speaking to employees that have worked there for some time. Ask them if they have been offered any opportunities and if they believe that career advancement is available. If you choose a job that offers little to no advancement opportunities, you may become quickly dissatisfied with your work. If you are in a position that does not offer the advancement that you desire, do not be afraid to look for a new position.
In today’s society, you do not need to work a grueling amount of hours in order to advance in your career. There was a time not too long ago that prospective employees had to work excessively to prove themselves to be a capable candidate for a higher position. However, in today’s workforce, employers now value the ability to produce quality work within the time constraints that you are given in your scheduled shift. This demonstrates your ability to delegate, manage your time wisely and remain engaged in your work.
In order to stand out amongst your peers, it is important to maintain a great attitude and maintain a high level of quality in your work. By showing that you truly care about your career and the company that you work for, it will improve your attitude and your relationships with your peers. Additionally, it is important to build relationships with coworkers. If you are being considered for a promotion, the decision maker will likely speak with both your supervisor and your peers to learn more about you, your work and personality.
Express interest in new challenges in order to broaden your skill set, hone your existing skills and expand your experience in your field. By being open to new possibilities, you may even land an advancement in your career than you were not expecting.
The reality of life is that you may not get the career of your dreams right out of high school or college. Even if you did great in school or completed your degree – you may not get a career in the industry that you would like to right away. Not all is lost, however. You can still work towards advancing in your career while working an entry-level position. One of the most important things that you can do is treat your entry-level position as if it were your dream career. Come into work each day with a positive attitude and with the same drive that you would if you were working the job of your dreams. Your coworkers and supervisors will take notice as a positive attitude is infectious. As stated previously, it is important to make an effort to build relationships with your coworkers. This is still a crucial part of advancement, even if you are not working in the industry that you would like to be in. Coworkers and supervisors provide excellent references for prospective employers and by building relationships, you can expand your network. You never know who might know someone who is working within your desired industry.
While working an entry-level position, do not be afraid to take on new challenges or start a side project that can further your advancement into your desired career. Organize a community of interest, create a podcast or seek publication for a book. While the perfect project will differ depending on the type of career that you are pursuing, the possibilities are endless. When leaving a job, it is important that you try and leave each position in a positive way. This is easier to do if you have relationships with your peers over time, but it is also important to remain courteous when making your exit from a position, such as providing your employer with a two weeks notice.
You never know when an opportunity will arise. One of the easiest ways to advance your career is to be prepared whenever an opportunity presents itself. To be prepared to take on a new challenge it is crucial that you keep your resume up to date, even if you are not actively seeking new employment. Otherwise, if an opportunity is presented, you may be scrambling at the last minute to make changes. Your resume is an important tool that can help you stand out to future employees. Your resume can mean the difference between acquiring your ideal career and being passed over for another candidate. Therefore, it is important to really work on perfecting your resume. If you are not much of a writer, consider hiring a professional resume builder. You will likely find that it is easier to update a well formatted and polished resume rather than creating one from the ground up.
Join a professional association for your industry. There are hundreds that are recognized across the country and many industries have several associations that are available. Find one that is in your area and attend meetings regularly. This will provide you with the opportunity to meet other professionals within your desired field. Not only do associations look great for your resume, but they can help you broaden your network, which can lead to new opportunities and experiences.
By mastering the art of communication, you will impress prospective employers as this is an incredibly valuable skill that should not be taken lightly. If you have trouble speaking publically or you stutter during presentations, work on these faults until you have mastered both written and verbal communication. Learn to think on your feet in order to show prospective employers that your critical thinking jobs aid your aptitude for the industry. The ability to think on your feet can show real problem solving skills as well as leadership qualities.