Sometimes you reach a plateau in your career and find it difficult to rise any higher. Other times you see a steep slope before you and want to ascend faster. Whatever your situation is, there are steps you can take to improve it. Formulate your plan and follow through to supercharge your career.
Make the Right Plan for You
The first steps require preparation so that you know where you are going. Don’t just do something; plan ahead.
- Set your goals. Where do you want to be and what do you want to be doing? Just saying you want to advance your career is ambiguous. Along what path do you want to advance?
- Make a timeline. How soon do you need to achieve your goals? What about the steps along the way? Set up milestones and a timeline for achieving them as well.
- Learn to sell yourself. Climbing to new positions with greater responsibilities means job interviews. Every job interview is a chance to sell yourself. The better you are at it, the quicker you will climb that ladder to success.
- Write it all down. Having your plan in written form helps you to visualize it and keep it at the forefront of your thoughts. It also helps you to keep track of your progress.
When you have completed your planning, you will be ready to take your first substantive steps along your new path.
Start With Yourself
Before you make changes in other areas, you have to make changes in yourself. This is the only thing that is entirely under your control.
- Get to know your industry. Even a seasoned veteran can learn something new. As you are planning your ascent to success, you should learn everything you can about the industry you work in. You’ll never know when it might come in handy. One good way to learn more is to interview people with more experience than you.
- Learn to be a good listener. This ties in with the previous point. You will learn a lot more by listening than talking. Train yourself to pay attention to what others say, especially if they have already gone down the path you want to pursue.
- Dress for success. Not only will you have more success with others when you dress in a more formal style, studies show that it actually gives you confidence and can even boost your creativity.
Networking and Other Social Skills
Now that you have your plan crystallized and are improving yourself, it is time to form the relationships that will take you far.
- Find a mentor. Look for someone experienced who can give you feedback in all areas of your job performance. They know the path because they have walked the path.
- Grow some thicker skin. Criticism can hurt, but there is nothing better to help us grow into better people. Accept criticism so that you can learn from it and do better next time. Not only will you learn more, you will impress others with your maturity.
- Throw parties, join clubs or gyms, hang out after work with the team. Knowing the right people and developing good relationships with them can help you get your foot in the door.
Career success will not happen overnight. You need to plant the right seeds and patiently cultivate them. With diligence and persistence, however, you will achieve more than you ever thought you could.