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Career growth is a continuous process and it’t not something that happens overnight. It takes time, effort, and dedication to grow your career. While the road to becoming an expert in your chosen field may be challenging, it can also be rewarding. Some people begin their career with aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder while others are happy where they are but want to find ways to supplement their current position and help them take on new responsibilities. In order to make sure your career is moving forward rather than stagnating, you need a plan of action. You don’t have to have everything figured out yet; just knowing what you want from your career will get you on the right track. When it comes to planning for growth and development, there are many different factors involved. Here are 5 tips that will help you along the way:
Research and Network
One of the first things you should do when planning your career growth is to do some research. Find out what kinds of career paths are available in your company. Find out what industries you could branch out into. Research what kind of education is required for specific positions and learn about any certifications or licenses you might need to obtain. When doing research, make sure to look beyond company websites. Pay attention to trends in your industry, read the news, and follow industry blogs. This will help you see what kind of opportunities are available in other areas of your industry. You should also make an effort to get out and network. When you’re at events, don’t just talk about your job; talk about the industry as a whole. Talk to people from different departments and find out what their career path looks like. You never know who you might meet or what connections you might make that could help you further your career in one way or another.
Take on Meaningful Responsibilities
One of the best ways to show your superiors that you’re ready to take the next step in your career is to take on meaningful responsibilities in your current position. There are a few things you can do to show you’re ready for a promotion. When you’re given a project or task, don’t just complete it to the best of your ability; complete it outstandingly. If you handle everything with excellence, you’ll show your superiors that you’re ready for more responsibility and have what it takes to succeed. Another way to show you’re ready for more responsibility is to ask for it. If you’ve been at your company for a while and feel like you’re ready for a promotion, just go ahead and ask. You don’t want to wait around for your superiors to notice that you’re ready; you have to make them aware of your aspirations. When you ask for a promotion, make sure that you have a plan of action. Tell your superiors what responsibilities you think you’re ready for and why you think you’re ready for them. Be specific and don’t just tell them you want more responsibility; tell them exactly what you want to do.
Create a Skills Inventory
Another great way to figure out what you want to do with your career is to create a skills inventory. When you look at the different careers or paths you could take, you’ll notice a few common things. There’s usually a skill or two that are present in each of them. These are the things you need to learn in order to excel in that industry. If you want to work in marketing, you’ll need to learn marketing. If you want to work in accounting, you’ll need to learn accounting. If you want to take your career in a certain direction, you’ll need to learn new skills. There are tons of ways to acquire the skills you need. You can take online courses, get an internship, read up on the subject, or find a mentor who can teach you what you need to know.
Set SMART Goals
When you’re creating a career growth plan, it’s a good idea to set SMART goals. What does that mean? SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When you create a career growth plan, you’ll want to set goals for the next few months, the next year, and two to five years from now. Short-term goals are things like upgrading your skill set, taking on more responsibility in your current position, reaching out to people you want to network with, etc. Long-term goals are things like switching careers, getting your foot in the door in a new industry, etc. When you create goals, make sure they are specific. Instead of saying you want to “switch careers,” say you want to “switch to a career in marketing.” Instead of saying you want to “get a promotion,” say you want to “be promoted to manager by the end of the year.”
Seek Out Advancement Opportunities
If you’ve been at your company for a few years, you may have noticed that your career has hit a bit of a standstill. You want to advance, but your superiors aren’t giving you the opportunity. What can you do? Instead of waiting around for someone to promote you, why not seek out advancement opportunities yourself? Some of the best ways to do this are to join committees, get involved in the community, and take on leadership roles within your company. Committees and organizations outside of your company that you can join will help you network and make valuable connections that could help you further your career in one way or another. Leadership roles in your company are great ways to show your superiors that you’re ready for more responsibility.
Career growth is a continuous process and it’s not something that happens overnight. It takes time, effort, and dedication to grow your career. When you’re at the beginning of your career, you can’t expect to jump straight to the top. Everyone has to start somewhere, and that means working your way up the ladder from the bottom. It’s a long journey, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. With the right attitude, you can conquer anything. These 5 tips will help you on your journey to growing your career.