Many career experts state that the best time to consider advancing your career is while you are comfortable in your current position. This is because you will be more willing to consider a variety of options, and will also be able to evaluate where you are going with your current position without being negatively influenced by a desire to relocate.
In today’s highly fluid job market it is up to you to take control of the direction of your career. There are a number of ways in which you can proactively develop your career, as outlined below:
Speak with your boss
Address your career aspirations with your boss. Share your career goals with him or her and discuss how you can meet those goals together.
Ask for more responsibilities
Requesting more responsibilities demonstrates proactiveness and willingness to take on a greater workload. This will suggest to your boss that you are hardworking, conscientious – and of great value to the company.
Improve your skill set
Advancing your skill set will undoubtedly help to take your career to the next level. Focus on improving skills that are particularly weak. For example if your people skills aren’t so strong, work on sharpening them by being friendly, outgoing and personable. Listen carefully to others and practice communicating in a clear and effective manner.
Use your initiative
Initiative isn’t a skill that can just be acquired; it is something that involves forcing yourself to think outside the box, be independent and not be afraid of rejection. Although it can become easy to be complacent in your current role, try not to let things develop that way. Instead, speak up, voice your opinions and express any ideas that you have thought of.
Find a mentor
Find someone who you look up to to be your mentor. Whether they work inside or outside of your company, having a mentor is an excellent way to gain advice and guidance on career progression and ultimately get a promotion.
Look the part
We all want to gain a promotion and progress in our careers, but if you don’t dress the part, you may be negatively influencing your chances of career development. Dress for the role that you aspire towards, not for the role that you’re in.
Expand your network
Strengthen your personal network. If your current boss is not willing to help you to develop your career, then having connections is crucial in working your way up the career ladder.