Are you frustrated because you feel like your career is stuck? According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 63% of workers who quit a job in 2021 said they left because they had no advancement opportunities.
Even if you’re not especially ambitious, you may want to make yourself promotable. Many of today’s jobs are at risk for being automated, and employers often want an immediate return on their investment on new hires.
Whatever stage you’re at in your career, there are ways to progress faster. Try these tips for changing your approach.
Remember Ryan from The Office? He’s the temp who suddenly became a corporate executive. Then, he got arrested for fraud because he lied about the company sales figures. Building a solid foundation is more important than skyrocketing to the top.
These strategies will help you build a foundation that supports advancement:
- Adjust your expectations. Pick goals that you can achieve. Overnight success is rare, but you can prepare yourself to take advantage of any opportunities that come your way.
- Understand your strengths. Do a self-assessment. Notice the kinds of tasks that bring you satisfaction and those that drain your energy. Choose a career that’s aligned with your talents and abilities, as well as your passions.
- Continue learning. Strengthen your qualifications. Master new technology and stay up to date with research in your field. Earn additional certifications and degrees. Talk with others about their roles and teach them what you know.
- Work on soft skills. Remember that employers care about how you work, as well as what’s on your resume. Hone your oral and written communication skills. Practice active listening. Manage your time effectively.
- Build your confidence. Believe in yourself and your abilities. You’ll need to persevere through obstacles and rejections.
- Seek balance. Paying attention to your life outside the office makes you more productive and less likely to burn out. Spend time with family and friends. Develop enriching hobbies. Take breaks and use your vacation days.
- Have fun. Enjoy the journey. Focus on what you like about your work. Use humor to relieve stressful situations. Remember the purpose behind your activities.
Being competent in your role matters, but you’ll want to do more than that in order to stand out.
Go beyond your job description with these techniques:
- Network vigorously. Cultivate relationships that are long-term and mutually supportive. Connect with others online and off. Be authentic and generous. Set specific goals, like attending one event each month and making three new contacts.
- Welcome feedback. Does being evaluated make you anxious? Look at feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow. Ask others for their input and thank them for helping you.
- Find a mentor. You’re five times more likely to be promoted if you have a mentor, but only 37% of professionals have one, according to a study by Together Software. Many experts recommend multiple mentors for different aspects of your life.
- Take on challenges. Venture outside your comfort zone. Think positive and show initiative. Figure out your boss’s priorities and present them with proposals that match their needs.
- Demonstrate leadership. Whatever your current position is, you can influence and inspire others. Stay informed about developments in your industry. Speak up at meetings. Deliver high performance and collaborate with others.
- Promote yourself. Make yourself more visible. Volunteer for high visibility projects and committees. Showcase your work online. Be willing to share the spotlight with others.
Put yourself on the fast track. You can climb the career ladder if you clarify what success means to you and take the necessary steps to reach your goals.