What is Career Advancement?

Career advancement can look different depending on the employee and the career.

It could be a reference to recognition, new job responsibilities and career related credentials that can assist you in bigger advancements or in gaining a career with a different employer. Career advancement can also be considered an increase to earned salary or hourly wages as well as gaining a more desirable work schedule. Career advancement can also be viewed as gaining higher positions within the company or learning new skills and experience in multiple professional fields. Therefore, it is important for you to understand what career advancement is to you and where it may be available. Not all employers offer career advancement. If this is something that is important to you, it is crucial that you find an employer that offers advancement opportunities, otherwise you may end up dissatisfied and unhappy within your career. To learn more on career advancement, refer to the information that has been provided within the sections below.

The Importance of Career Advancement for Employees

While not every employee will be interested in career advancement, an employer that offers career advancement can more easily retain and motivate their employees. Career advancement is easiest when an employer makes advancement needs and responsibilities clear. Unfortunately, recent surveys show that only 37 percent of companies within the United States and Canada stated that their employees knew how they could shape and advance their careers. Only 44 percent of companies within these same countries reported that employees could obtain career advancements. Therefore, if you are interested in career advancement, it is important that you learn whether or not an employer offers advancement. Do not be afraid to switch to a company that offers better advancement opportunities.

Defining Career Advancement

Career advancement has a variety of definitions that is based upon your own specific perception of what advancement is. For some, a raise in pay alone may be considered a career advancement. Others may view advancement as reaching higher positions within a particular company. The ability to gain experience in multiple professional fields in order to occupy a versatile role may also be considered career advancement. For example, a writer may hope for publication and view that as career advancement, even if they are not yet making extra money. Therefore, recognition can also be seen as advancement. It will be up to you to define what career advancement means to you and what your goals are regarding your career.

Career Advancement Benefits

Depending on the position, career pathway and the advancement opportunity, career advancement can offer you a lot of benefits, including:

  • A gain in hourly wages or salary
  • A sense of self-accomplishment
  • Changes in schedules that may reflect your desired hours
  • Promotion along your goal career path within a business
  • Industry recognized credentials that may offer better positions or wages in the future

It is no secret that, when first starting out at a job, you may not get the hourly schedule that you desire. You may be asked to work nights, weekends or swing shifts. With advancement comes the possibility of a more ideal schedule. To many, this is even more of a reward than an increase in hourly or salary wages. Having an increase in income can help you to live a more comfortable lifestyle or save up for a home, vehicle or another large purchase.

Being promoted along your desired career path can put you one step closer to your career goals. Additionally, career advancement can provide invaluable credentials and experience within your chosen field. This can lead to further advancements in the future. It is easy to see why career advancement can lead to self-pride and accomplishment.

In addition to these benefits, you may experience a change or increase in job responsibility. However, that too is not necessarily a bad thing. You may begin to work more in the field that you love or take on responsibilities that you enjoy more.

What You Should Know About Career Advancement

When you first begin exploring a new occupation or when you are first seeking a job, it is important to learn about the advancement opportunities that may be able to people within your field. Additionally, it is worth finding out whether or not a company offers advancement opportunities to their employees. While there are many employers that promote from within, there are just as many companies that may look at outside sources for key positions within the company.

When inquiring as to whether or not a company does provide career advancement, consider speaking with people who have worked for the company for quite some time. Ask the individual how long they have worked for the company and whether or not they have progressed in their careers since they began working for the business in question. Ask whether or not they believe that advancement opportunities are available.

If you are interested in advancing within your career, a job that offers little to no advancement opportunities may seem like a dead end and may eventually lead to dissatisfaction in your work. Do not be afraid to look for a new job if this happens. It is important for you to work towards your own personal goals in your career. If an employer cannot offer you opportunities to achieve those goals, it may be time to move on.

Just keep in mind that career advancement can, at times, be a slow process. If your employer does offer career advancements, this advancement may not happen immediately. You must first make an effort to stand out and show that you are reliable, hardworking and the right employee for the job.

There is Nothing Wrong with Being Happy Where You Are

Not everyone strives to advance within a career and there is nothing wrong with moving laterally or sticking with your current position. Career advancement can lead to additional responsibilities and even an increase in work hours. If you are content with where you are at, you need not feel like there is anything wrong with feeling that way. Career advancement is not for everyone. Not pursuing advancement does not make you lazy or unmotivated. The most important aspect is to maintain the quality of your contributions and to feel that your work is meaningful. Beyond this, it is important for you to decide what you want out of your career. If you are perfectly happy with your current position, career advancement may just not be for you.

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