Today we have a guest post from Frank Anderson who is a contributing writer and full-time graduate student. He works for the HR department at a small law firm and enjoys mentoring new employees and helping them advance their careers.
Three Keys to Career Advancement
How did the boss become the boss? How can you make a similar move? Advancing your career can sometimes seem like a mysterious endeavor. Some people skyrocket up the corporate ladder, while others remain on the lower rungs for decades. Although there are many complex factors that go into career advancement in different industries, there are three overall keys that play a big part in receiving that big promotion.
The Three Keys of Advancement
Whether you long to find employment at a new company or advance with your current employer, these keys will serve you well throughout your professional life.
- Education – Education is crucial to advancement in most industries. Even if it is not a requirement, continuing your education after beginning your career illustrates you are dedicated to developing yourself. For example, if you are looking to get into management, consider beginning to pursue an online masters degree in management. When the position becomes available and you submit your application, the hiring manager will notice that you received your degree while employed. This indicates you are truly dedicated to your career and this new position.
- Sincerity – Being sincere in the workplace involves a number of things. Perhaps most importantly, it means always putting forward your best efforts. If you are assigned a project you don’t particularly enjoy, complete it cheerfully and to the best of your ability. Sincerity also means considering carefully any criticism or feedback you receive in the workplace. It’s easy to blame bosses or coworkers for making work unpleasant; however, look carefully and with sincerity at why you are uncomfortable. Perhaps the problem is coming from within you? Treating your job with commitment and sincerity will be noticed by your superiors and make you a more attractive candidate for a promotion.
- Define Advancement – “Career advancement” can mean a number of different things to a business professional. It’s crucial you take some time to understand what this phrase means to you. Does it mean working for a certain department? Earning a certain salary? Once you have defined this term, you can then be single-minded in your approach. For example, if advancement means entering the human resources department, you might think about making a sincere effort to earn your human resources masters degree online. This will directly prepare you to advance your career by meeting the education requirements necessary for this department.
Additional Ways to Advance Your Career
- Networking, Online and Off – Networking at conventions and other gatherings of business professionals has long been a good way to advance your career. It can help you find new clients, suppliers and even a new career. In recent years, online social networking has become very popular and useful. Participate in professional social networks like LinkedIn to further expand your job prospects.
- Perception – What image do you convey to senior management? The people who decide your next promotion probably already have a perception of you. Unfortunately, this perception may not always be based on factual information. You need to be viewed as someone who goes above and beyond the norm. Could you be the employee who shows up early and leaves late? And make sure, any project with your name on it is completed on time and with excellence.
- Exposure – In an ideal world, advancing your career would depend solely on merit and qualifications; however, in the real world, it also depends on who you know and what they think of you. Having quality exposure to those a few rungs above you on the corporate ladder can be extremely helpful when it comes to the time to take your next few steps. Volunteer to attend meetings, ask to go to on management training courses and do whatever you can to make yourself known to senior management.
You Can Advance Your Career
Unfortunately, there is no set-in-stone formula for advancing your career. It will take a combination of the three keys above and the additional tips to truly advance your career; however, with hard work, you can reach the level that allows you to use your full potential.
About the Author: Frank Anderson is a contributing writer and full-time graduate student. He works for the HR department at a small law firm and enjoys mentoring new employees and helping them advance their careers.