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What is career advancement?

Depending on who you ask, you are likely to get a different answer on what constitutes career advancement.

Similarities do exist in the overall answer. Advancing in your career is generally viewed as positive. Some employees measure career advancement by pay increases. For other employees, career advancement is about receiving a new job title or accepting additional job responsibilities.

Career advancement is seen as gaining more freedom and benefits at work, such as additional time off or the ability to set your own schedule. Receiving benefits like work insurance or better discounts are viewed as career advancement.

A common mistake employees make is thinking every career has room for advancement. While plenty of jobs provide room to advance, not every career path has room to grow. Even careers with confirmed advancement are limited.

In a business, low-ranking positions are more common than higher ones. It would not make sense to have more managers than general employees. Before you take a job offer, it is important to consider what job advancement is available and what you specifically expect from career advancement. Keep reading to learn more about how to spot career advancement in the workplace.

The Importance of Career Advancement for Employees

Many employees initially overlook the importance of career advancement. These employees are more concerned with finding a job and less concerned about their future. In some situations, you must accept a job where there is limited room for advancement.

A job without a career advancement is not always negative. A large part of advancing into a new career is developing experience. Any job you work gives you the practical experience you can use when applying for another job, even if it ends up being with a different business.

If you are uncomfortable with the current amount of benefits you receive from work, or if you are unhappy with the limited responsibility from your job, advance to a new career. Do not be afraid to speak with your employers about advancement. Let your manager know you feel unhappy in your current position, or you believe you are ready for more responsibility.

A good manager works with you and lets you know how realistic it is for you to advance. He or she indicates what you must demonstrate to be considered for advancement. If your manager keeps giving you the runaround or you believe there is no more room to advance, it may be time for you to switch companies.

Defining Career Advancement

If you want to advance in your chosen career, you must be honest with yourself about what advancement looks like for you. Some employees are happy advancing in salary, even if their position and responsibilities stay the same. For other employees, an increase in salary does not qualify as career advancement, since they are more interested in climbing the corporate ladder and earning a new rank. Making more money is always nice, but there is no easy way to translate that information onto your resume.

Earning a new job rank is something you definitively state. Depending on your career, recognition counts as career advancement. If you get a medical published study you now have a reputation in the field, even if your job title and salary remain the same. Once you know what career advancement means to you, it is easier to find the benefits you are looking for in a new job.

Career Advancement Benefits

Career advancement has multiple benefits. The types of benefits available to you largely depending on where you work and your position in the company. The most common benefits of career advancement include the following:

  • An increase in wages.
  • Being promoted from hourly to salary.
  • Favorable changes to your schedule.
  • A new job title.
  • Additional certification or credentials.

Most employees do not have favorable hours or wages when they are first starting out. Senior employees often have more flexibility with their schedules and have higher salaries. Advancing in your career gives you more control over your work hours. You may receive extra benefits when you advance in your careers, such as having access to insurance coverage or other company perks.

Larger companies typically provide discounts to higher-ranked employees. Depending on your profession, you have access to more desirable projects when you advance in your career.

When you are looking at career advancement opportunities, it is important to plan ahead. Do not think about how career advancement helps in just your current job, but how it looks for future employment opportunities.

Employees often use their early careers as a stepping stone to something greater. In these instances, achieving a new job title or receiving additional credentials is more important than increased wages or greater flexibility with your schedule. If you plan to stay with the company you are with for at least the next several years, an increase in wages matters more. This is because you are going to be around long enough to get the most out of the increased paycheck.

What You Should Know About Career Advancement

One of the most common mistakes you can make when looking for a job is not considering career advancements. This happens in one of two ways. The first is completely overlooking career advancement. Many employees end up trapped in a job with no room to advance because they were willing to accept the first job offer they received. It is possible to think too much about career advancement.

To advance to a new career, you need experience. You cannot expect your first job to immediately propel you into your designed position. Sometimes you simply cannot be picky about your work. There is nothing wrong with accepting a job because you need to make money. What is important is you are honest about how long you want to stay in the company and keep looking for additional jobs to advance your career once you are financially stable.

Advancement Takes Time

A good career map must plan years in advance. It takes employees years to advance to their desired position. Even advancing one step up the corporate ladder is something that takes a great deal of time. If you are not advancing as fast as you would like, take a step back and consider how realistic your goals are. It is perfectly okay to be comfortable with your current position. If you are constantly waiting and pushing too hard for career advancement, you risk burning yourself out which only hurts your odds of advancing in the long run.