It’s very easy to get stuck in a career path. It sometimes feels as if you’ve reached the natural level of all that you can achieve, and that’s bad news for your motivation and your productivity.
That leads to a loss of job satisfaction and is one of the first signs that it’s time to start looking at your next steps.
Whether it’s a complete career change or you simply want to be able to move up a few levels in your existing sector, the most important thing to remember is not to rush. It can take time to explore your options, so make sure that you know exactly what your next steps should be when you want to take another step up the career ladder.
Step One: Evaluate Existing Prospects
If the company that you work for currently has no scope for career growth then it’s time to look elsewhere.
Do some research into your current employer. Start with identifying those members of the team who have secured higher positions, and if there is a lack of those then that’s a good sign that in-house recruitment for better roles is not common.
That will mean looking at other companies, no matter how much you value your current employer. If you have reached a career dead-end, then sticking with a company that doesn’t recognize your ambition is always a mistake.
Step Two: Personal Development
Even if you have years of experience that makes you the ideal candidate for a promotion, there’s a good chance that you will still lose out on opportunities because other applicants are better qualified.
Personal development should be an ongoing task for those that want to improve their careers and is vital for those that are actively seeking more responsibility. Of course, it’s never been easier to get the qualifications that you need, and you don’t need to head off to live on a college campus either.
Thanks to the respectability and high-standing of online education, you can sign up for college or university classes anywhere in the world and can earn even a DBA degree Germany, if hospital administration is your next step. Don’t remain static if you want your career to grow, and always keep improving your resume.
Step Three: Networking
Anyone who focuses on their career but neglects networking is making a mistake that can hinder career growth. The larger and more professional your network the more invaluable it is, and being connected with the right people can open job opportunities, provide you with impeccable references, or simply offer key advice when you need it most. Networking can lead to:
- Better job offers
- Mentoring opportunities
- Work shadowing/work experience
Use all of your existing channels to build up that professional network and be an active collaborator. Get involved with industry-relevant conversations on social media, and use work events and industry events to meet the people who have something to offer.
Step Four: Act Like a Leader
If you’re waiting for a promotion before you buckle down and get your work done then the impression you’re making is not conducive to any further steps up the career ladder.
If you want to stay with your existing employer then you need to show them that you have more than just the qualifications and the experience to justify that next step.
You also need to show that you have a professional sense of responsibility that will be of benefit to the company as a whole. Knowing the core requirements of your next position and adapting your working methods to reflect those skillsets is vital.
If you show up late to work every day because your current role bores you then you will not stand out positively and you will be more likely to get skipped over when it comes to promotion time.
Step Five: Interviews
If you’re being interviewed at a new company, then you need to do all of the usual actions pre-interview (research, addressing skill gaps, etc). However, don’t forget that you will also need to do the same if you’re being interviewed by your current employer.
It’s easy to get too confident if you know the person interviewing you and you have experience with the company. However, these factors are not enough to guarantee success.
You need to commit to the internal interview in the same way that you would an external interview, with key research and an understanding of the company goals.
If you’re bored with your current role, don’t rush into a hasty decision and hand in your notice. Take the time to understand what you want from the next step in your career and start taking action that will get you where you need to be.
The more that you plan and research, the more likely that you will get the career step up that you’ve been hoping for.
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