It is now inarguable that the old culture of a ‘job for life’ in many professions has disappeared. In the past, you would join a Company, put in the hours and climb the ladder. But what do you do in the new, changed world to fast track your career? Not everyone wants to get there in the same way, but one thing remains the same. Most people still want to develop and advance in their career even if it is done more laterally.
You may move to another Company to step up the ladder. Or it may be that you don’t always climb in a straight line but in a more roundabout manner. The old idea of ‘paying your dues’ has been supplanted by younger generations with a reputation, deservedly or not, of wanting to advance speedily, and of being impatient for success. There is more focus on ‘growth’ these days as opposed to simply moving up the pole.
So, in this context, how can you get to the top in today’s jobs climate?
In order to achieve your full potential, every person needs a plan. Ideally, you will have a long-term career plan which includes the steps in between that you’ll need to take to achieve your goals.
Get the best training and education possible as soon as you can, as this can be the differentiation between similar skilled people who are aiming for the same role.
Use all the contacts available to you, particularly when starting out. But it doesn’t stop once you have the job – the more who know and like you, the better placed you’ll be for the future.
Stay in Control
Keep your options open. Whether you stay in one place or move around, you need to be fully responsible for your own career. This will make it more likely that you make good decisions based on your own values and needs and achieve success on your own terms.
Work harder than others. Volunteer for important projects. Become the person who contributes more.
Your attitude can be just as important as your skill levels. Your manager will appreciate a can-do attitude. If you can be show initiative, rather than just execute tasks, you are more likely to progress quickly.
Skills and Knowledge
Continue to build skills and knowledge outside the job. Grow your credibility by reading, studying or attending conferences in your sector. You will develop relationships in your sector that open up options for progression.
Understand Your Objectives
Match your efforts to the goals of the Company and your manager’s priorities. Do all that you can to progress your boss’ targets. When you serve them well, they are more likely to give you more responsibility and opportunities to grow.
Operate at a Higher Level
Operate as though you are in a higher role without neglecting your current duties. Show that you have the confidence and potential to be promoted and to lead. Watch those in higher positions and learn to model their better behaviours.
If you are seen as a team player and can work well with others, this will definitely help your career. The ability to influence people is a skill needed more and more as you move up in any organisation.
Show appreciation for opportunities provided or guidance given by senior leaders. It will catch their attention, leave a positive impression and keep you on their radar.
If you are trying to decide the best way forward in your own career, please contact me for an introductory chat about how I can help you to achieve your goals.