Here are 7 Ways to Advance Your Career
Whether you’re fresh out of school and just starting an entry-level career or you’ve been in your industry for 25 years, it’s never too early or too late to advance your career and bring your expertise to the next level. While that’s much easier said than done, it’s not impossible. Here are some tips from Benovate to get you started on achieving your career goals.
An excellent starting point for jump-starting your career is to complete certifications online. One of the most incredible things about technology is that it is constantly advancing, making resources more accessible than ever. Websites like Google Academy, Coursera, UDemy, and Lynda provide courses on a plethora of subjects that can make you stand out from others in your industry. Available at your fingertips, these sites offer training courses, certifications, and tutorials that you can manage on your own time.
Join LinkedIn (It’s Not Just for Job-Hunting!)
It is never too early to connect with people, especially ones that have influence in your career field. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, creating one is a quick and easy way to build your global network. You can connect with almost anyone, giving you easy access to millions of professionals in your industry. Within LinkedIn, you can search for mentors, jobs, newsgroups, and so much more. If you’re looking for a new job, LinkedIn also offers a job search tool and gives you the option to apply in two minutes. The best part? It’s completely free.
Find a Mentor
We all need guidance at some point, and odds are, no matter how far you are into your career, that there is someone with experience in your field that you admire. Whether it’s someone who is an expert, your boss, or a colleague, confiding in someone to mentor you is a fantastic way to learn the ins-and-outs of the business. Not only will you learn from them, but they also have connections in your industry which are invaluable.
Until you see yourself from another person’s point of view, you will never know what you need to improve on. People love to give their opinions. Ask your boss, coworkers, and even your friends to evaluate you and your work habits to see what is holding you back. Ask them how you can improve, what you do well, or other open-ended questions to get the conversation moving. Constructive criticism might be exactly what you need to work on yourself.
Build a Timeline
Having a set plan may be all you need to keep yourself motivated. Where do you want to be in five years? Who do you want to work for? Making a timeline of your desired career moves, salary, and company will help keep your tangible goals in focus, and the more detail, the more attainable the goal will be. What are you willing to do to advance yourself? When do you want to reach your goals? Who will help you get there? Keep this plan in a place where you will see it often so you can stay on track or make adjustments as needed.
Advance Your Degree
Going back to school may sound like an investment in stress, debt, and time, but did you know that on average, people with a graduate degree earn $17,000 more per year than those with only an undergraduate degree? Of course it depends on your major, but most graduate degrees provide a significant bump in your salary. Not only is the salary increase massive, but the doors graduate degrees open are extensive. Feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to manage both work and school? There are hundreds of online programs, many of which allow you to go at your own pace and don’t require a GRE score. With flexible online degrees, it is easier than ever to go back to school while balancing a career.
Focus on the Short Term
Of course, it’s important to have long-term goals, but usually there's only so much you can do to prepare for those goals. Don’t put less effort into the projects at hand because you’re so focused on your five-year goals. Short-term goals are building blocks to bigger goals, and they start with a single step forward. Setting your mind to daily tasks builds confidence, improves organization skills, and prepares you for the future.
The next steps in your career don’t have to be stressful. In fact, advancing your career can be a breeze. With these tips, you can accelerate in your field and achieve all of your career goals, but remember, it starts with you. If you have additional career development tips you would like to share with us, comment in the box below!