Many employees are unhappy with their position in a company but are unsure how to advance in their chosen career.
Career advancement is not often easy, and unfortunately, even if you do everything right there is still the chance you do not advance. Career advancement is largely determined by your career and the place where you work. In some situations, even if you are a truly dedicated employee, there is simply no room left to promote you.
Career advancement is out of your hands in certain positions, but there is usually something you can do to increase your odds of advancing. Even if you know you cannot advance in your current career, you may still be able to take steps to advance your career later.
Gaining new job experience helps you on future applications. You need the experience before you apply for a job where you have better career advancement prospects. One of your best tools in increasing your odds of career advancement is your resume. With a strong resume, you have a greater chance of advancing in your career, since it shows employers exactly what you are capable of producing. Improve other skills to increase your odds of advancing in your career, as noted below.
Keep Your Resume Up to Date
If you want to increase your odds of advancing in your career, you must maintain an up to date resume. You never know when the opportunity to apply for a job is going to present itself. If you have an outdated resume, you are left scrambling to try and update all your relevant work information when the opportunity to advance your career presents itself. If you are rushing, you are more likely to miss details or run the risk of presenting a sloppy resume.
When you are updating your resume, do not just change the job listing section. Make sure you list any additional certifications you earned on the job, or list additional skills you learned from work. If possible, prepare examples to support your resume, such as figures from projects where you took the lead role.
Even if you are applying for a new position in your current company, you want an updated resume. Your resume reflects your work abilities. To advance in your career, your employers must be confident you are a strong and detailed worker. A weak resume is discouraging to employers and makes it look like you are not taking the job seriously.
Keep a Running List of Your Accomplishments
A good resume is short and easy to read. It covers a list of your relevant skills and emphasizes your career highlights, but it does not list every one of your accomplishments. If you want to advance in your career, you must keep track of all your accomplishments, both large and small. Do not rely entirely on your resume.
Your accomplishments include a several significant events. Make note of times you played a key role in a project. Even something as small as getting a project done under budget or before a deadline is important. If you have positive letters from clients, include these in your list of accomplishments as well.
When you are trying to advance in your career, not all your accomplishments are relevant. When you search for examples to support why you deserve to advance, make sure you are only taking the most important accomplishments relating to the career you want to obtain.
Join a Professional Association for Your Industry
Another way to advance in your career is to join a professional association. The type associations depend on your career, as well as where you reside. Some associations are for specific jobs, while others exist for broader industries. Examples of associations to choose from include:
- Government work.
- Criminal Justice.
If you join a professional association, make sure you actively attend meetings. Simply having a membership is not enough to advance your career. Professional associations provide good opportunities to network with employers in your industry.
If you are unhappy with your current profession, network with someone at an association who has a job with room to advance. Attend professional associations as a way to learn more about your career and identify what skills you need to successfully advance to a new career.
Find a Professional Mentor
One of the ways to advance your career is to work with a professional mentor, especially if your mentor is in your workplace. The goal of a mentor is to teach you new skills relating to your impression. The experience you gain from your mentor may be enough to elevate you to a new position.
Your mentor is another networking source and is commonly someone who is in a position you are striving towards. His or her recommendation helps you advance your career because he or she is speaking with a voice of experience.
Become a Master at Communication
If you want to advance in your career, you must be able to tell your employer what you want. Many employees are passed over for career advancement because they remain quiet and expect a promotion to come to them. This happens in specific situations, but employers are more likely to give you additional responsibilities if they know you are actively trying to advance.
When you approach your employer about a promotion, clearly articulate what it is you are looking for during your meeting. If you want a higher salary, explain this to your manager. Otherwise, you may end up negotiating for completely different benefits than you want. Mastering communication is a good way to tell your employer why you deserve to advance in the first place.
Develop New Skills
Another way to advance in your career is to develop your skills. If you want a promotion, look at what skills are necessary to advance and start developing in those areas. Seeking additional certification or taking work related classes is an excellent way to signal to your employers you are not only looking to advance in your career, but you are serious enough to show initiative.
Try and line up your new skills with areas you know help the business. If you know the direction your company is trying to go in, focus on skills which help the company reach that goal.