Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Everything has changed. From the nature of careers to technologies that influence and redefine commitments.
The definition of ‘career’ is nothing like what our parents used to know. Yet, career advancement is still a hot topic. For most people, growth defines financial wellness, prestige, and personal fulfillment.
How should you design a strategy that earns you the best fruits for your labor?
What is career pathing?
Profession-advancement strategies are plans for growth, and for any serious individual out there; they set goals to improve their value, external connections, and image with superiors.
How fast you get to attain career success depends on the strategy that you implement. Here are a few things we would like you to consider:
Conduct a rigorous self-assessment
Self-assessment is essential for planning and sustainable professional development. Doing a ‘self-inventory’ produces self-awareness that entails identifying your business acumen, talents, strengths, and skills.
All these are assets that can be leveraged in the pursuit of your goals, but you must know what you have and what you don’t. Knowing yourself is fundamental for success in leading others.
Similarly, self-assessment helps to identify gaps that could undermine your career advancement.
While these valuations have proven benefits, you must work with valid data by reflecting on your current and past performance.
As you unpack, pay attention to clues regarding your strengths, interests, values, and skills. These details will come in handy later on when planning and forming your career decisions.
Inspect the market
Market research is vital, especially for young professionals looking for work or in their first roles. The process involves poring over published sources and asking for information from relevant people.
People are especially useful for company information, industry news and job roles, responsibilities, and openings.
These people can simultaneously become the cornerstone of growing your network on which to rely on throughout your career.
Join professional associations
LinkedIn is a leading networking site. Build a profile now and start optimizing it by making connections and publishing.
Leverage such options in your advancement plans: You can use it for job searches, getting company information, or joining network groups.
These associations will provide resources that can help you understand the scope and purpose of your industry or function. Some may have limited membership and peg that on certification or payment.
In the end, the reward is worth it. From networking to internship placement and interviews, many associations go above and beyond to help professionals get a leg up in the industry.
Focus on your ‘fit’
Focus on job interests, not only where you can excel, but also what you stand to enjoy. The best career path should be a perfect match for your interests.
That way, you will have the motivation to push the envelope every day for your success and that of your organization.
As you gather more insight into yourself and your options, start to favor choices that excite you.
These should be functional roles whose skills, knowledge, responsibilities, duties, and tasks are the right “fit” with your career assets and aspirations.
The right organization should be one whose culture aligns with your personality and provides a chance to satisfy and build your value system.
Assess your “fit” with these occupational considerations:
- You should have critical skills that are consistent with the typical duties of the position
- Have fundamental interests that map to the company’s products and services
- Have values that are likely to be satisfied within the organizational culture
- Your personality traits should be consistent with the culture of the organization
Make a plan
Integrate what you have learned so far (in market research and self-assessment) into a strategic development plan.
The best growth plan should include a five-year vision as well as mid-term objectives to be achieved along the way.
Look at your goals and career growth aspirations- write down that vision in a living document that you can update at the pace of change in your career landscape.
Don’t ignore mid-term steps. They are useful when certain conditions reduce your ability to achieve goals directly. These could be personal weaknesses or changes in the job market.
Make your job search more meaningful
How do successful professionals conduct their job searches? They start with the assessments and considerations as explored earlier and leverage their employable assets for better jobs and employers.
The top job-seeking approaches that work, according to KPMG, include:
- Seeking referrals from friends in a professional network
- Researching potential employers through company websites
- Researching positions (based on your strengths, interest and experience)
- Applying online using social media
Is it over-ambitious to ask much from a potential employer? Certainly not, choose the right employer and interviews bearing these in mind:
- Career growth opportunities
- Rewards and benefits
- Work-life balance
- Organizational culture
- Contribution to society
Ask for more responsibility
That special promotion only comes when your boss knows you can handle more. If you want to develop your career, the best-proven strategy is adding more responsibilities to your to-do list.
These may fall beyond the scope of your current job description, but if they add more value to the organization, pursue them with passion.
The extra experience and popularity for efficiency will be vital to catapulting you to the next step on the ladder.
Study your performance
These reviews tie in well with your self-assessment. They help you find out whether you have been delivering the goods or not, and where gaps may lie.
Look at these reviews and analyze your areas of strength and weakness.
Seek feedback from your employer and discuss ways that you could improve and help them achieve their goals and yours.
Know your industry inside-out
Some industries require executives possess more specialized knowledge for advancement. For you, that may mean going back to school for a certification program to gain specialized skills in the field.
Mastering your industry improves the value that you add to your organization.
Some strategies that work include:
- Reading weekly or monthly publications on your industry
- Joining professional groups
- Attending webinars, trade shows, and lectures
Learn more to earn more
Let’s be honest. Money is often top of the agenda on many career advancement strategies. Transitioning into a new role and salary raise depend on your skills and the value you bring to the organization.
Furthering your education is an excellent strategy to improve your skills and efficiency on the job.
Enrolling into professional programs, for instance, not only equips you with new skills but also demonstrates to employers that you are committed.
It shows that you are dedicated to improving your value to the business and that you have goals for personal growth and fulfillment.
So, don’t get comfortable. Seek more knowledge for a rewarding career.
Understand the power plays
What decision-making processes go into promotions in your organization? What are the roles and responsibilities of senior leaders? What are their priorities?
What is the competition doing right that your origination is failing at? What skills could you apply to solve these challenges and elbow your way to the top?
Power plays to get to the top:
- Know the market like the back of your hand
- Know your worth: Know how to leverage what you have for what you need
- Have a backup plan, look beyond your organization
- Project your future value; figure out what you can do in the long term
Make use of little perks
Many people are concerned with vertical career advancement. You, on the other hand, can concentrate on multi-dimensional growth.
For instance, you can ask for a raise and not necessarily a new title. You could also ask for flexible working schedules and off times that can help you start an enterprise.
Other lesser-known perks that tie to career growth include client entertainment budgets, parking reimbursement, and transportation subsidies.
Grow your networks and use them well
Get active in your network and stay that way. Don’t call people only when you need them.
Remember graduations, birthdays, and promotion celebrations and make an attempt to attend, gift, or send a congratulatory message.
These networks can be incredibly helpful now and in the future.
You can use the new job that you land through your networks to get your organization to see your value.
You can use the platform to showcase your industry knowledge and join the ranks of decision-makers, policymakers, and consultants.
Career growth from the outside will inspire growth from within your organization.
Career advancement requires planning and strategizing. Use the above tips to get ahead.
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