If you feel like you have been stuck in a rut at work, you might think that it is time to search for another job and start again. However, instead of returning to a blank slate and working your way up the ladder, it might be time to pay attention to your career objectives and work out whether or not you are doing the best you could be, to help you advance your prospects.
Instead of heading back to the job hunt, read on for some useful ways that you can work on advancing your career and progressing further instead, to help you enjoy a more productive and rewarding work life.
Decide what your goals are
The first step in planning how to advance your career is by working out what that looks for you. That means it is time to think hard about your own personal goals, both professional and personal. Everyone will have a different set of goals and priorities in life, depending on their personal circumstances, upbringing, and individual personality. While a colleague or friend’s goals might seem inspiring and ambitious, it is always best to think about what you would like personally out of life, rather than trying to adapt to someone else’s goals.
Goal setting can involve thinking ahead towards the short term and long-term future. You may want to ask yourself what you would like to envision for your life in five years, and further down the line. Once you have a perspective of what you would like to achieve, you can then take steps to work out how to get there.
Invest time in your personal and professional growth
Once you have decided what you would like to achieve with your career and professional ambitions, it is time to work on making these things become a reality. That will often mean learning more, gaining new skills, and developing deeper understanding, to be able to successfully take on the kind of roles and opportunities you would like.
For instance, you may want to study more about niche subjects related to your own industry, such as this, or take on extra qualifications. All of these things will require time, and in many cases, additional resources, including money. While you may need to work out a compromise to achieve them, to balance everything with your current commitments in life, it is well worth investing now, so that you can enjoy a positive future ahead.
Grow your network
Getting to know others and making a rich network of contacts should be a top priority when it comes to thinking about taking your career to the next level. Networking is not merely adding a list of names to your contacts and occasionally reaching out to them when you want something from them. Instead, you should put time and effort in getting to know others in your professional community around you.
Several benefits come from a rich and diverse network. You may find out more about potential job opportunities that can help you develop your career further. You may also get to learn more about certain roles or industries from the people that have worked there before or have a chance to shadow someone. This can provide essential insight into what is required, and help you plan ahead to present yourself in the best way. A good network can also support you when you require it. You may find people in a similar position as you who can provide advice and guidance, helping you out through challenging times. Of course, remember to give as well as receive – by being a support to others, you can also demonstrate that you are a valuable part of the network too.
Talk to your employers and superiors
If you want a chance to shine, you should not be afraid to ask for it. Taking the initiative to ask for an opportunity to grow further or promotion is not always an easy task, but it is a great sign that you are ready to handle more responsibility and growth. If you have regular reviews of your role in your current workplace, then you may want to bring up your future goals at your next review session. This may not immediately lead you to a bright new job opportunity, but it may get you on the way. For instance, you may be able to take on workplace development courses to gain the necessary qualifications and experience level you need to grow further, or you may find out about potential roles that you would not have otherwise considered.
By talking regularly to others around you to develop your career further, you can also be kept informed about the likelihood of new opportunities. If you get a clear message that there is unlikely to be room for growth there, then you can make an educated decision on how to move towards your future in other ways, there is always more than one avenue.
Be willing to take a risk
Progressing in your career might sometimes mean taking a riskier step forwards, especially if you are considering going it alone as an entrepreneur. This is no small decision but can certainly be a rewarding and exciting way of furthering your career goals. Working for yourself is a dream for many, especially for people who would like to have the chance to balance the personal and working lives better, or for those who are extremely ambitious about success.
A step like this does mean taking a risk, but to mitigate any potential loss or harm, you can buffer yourself by doing extensive research first. Look into the area you are considering starting a business in, and create a comprehensive and detailed plan, addressing your product or service idea, an analysis of the competitors currently out there, and a serious projection of what it may cost you to get started. Once you have these in place, you can begin to dream and get your career going!