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Advancement is the upward progression of someone's career. You can grow in your field by moving up from an entry-level job to a leadership role with greater educational requirements and responsibilities. You can also advance by transferring to another occupation.
These new opportunities are gained through on-the-job experience or additional training, for example:
A classroom aide with an associate degree returns to school for their bachelor's and secures a teaching position.
An award-winning salesperson with a decade of experience earns a promotion to sales manager.
If you want a career that offers new challenges and increasing responsibilities, look for a company or field with advancement opportunities. You may eventually become stagnant in a job that lacks growth potential, and dissatisfaction will soon follow.
When considering a new occupation, explore its advancement opportunities. After a few years of gaining experience, can you move up, or will you have to move on? Changing occupations is never easy, which is why many employees are stuck in unsatisfying professions. It’s better to know upfront whether professional development opportunities lie ahead.
Here are 12 things you can do to help you learn how to advance in your career:
If you work in an occupation that offers advancement opportunities, ask for more responsibility. This habit demonstrates your willingness to take on new and challenging projects. It also gives you a chance to prove to your boss that you can handle the added work.
Consider whether you:
Many employers have a company policy to promote from within. Make a habit out of checking the internal job board for advancement opportunities. Apply for interesting, higher-level positions for which you’re qualified.
For example, accounting clerks may want to try out for the department’s supervisory position.
Be honest with yourself about your abilities and avoid overstating your skills. Don’t sell yourself short, either.
Take advantage of occasions to actively chip in and assist your fellow employees. This advice also applies to helping your boss. By doing so, you’ll demonstrate that you’re a team player who’s willing to step up when needed without being asked.
The best practices for offering help in the workplace include:
Being proactive on the job is usually a positive habit. However, there are situations when it can come across negatively. Make it clear that you understand your coworker can do the job and that they may simply not have the time to devote to it.
Ask someone with more experience for career advancement advice. A mentor can give you helpful pointers, and if you don’t already have a mentor, put some effort into establishing that relationship. Objective career advice can motivate you in unexpected ways. Mentors can help you shape realistic professional goals for the next few years and provide constructive criticism.
Talk to experienced people who currently work in the field, and ask them:
If your resume is getting a bit dusty, consider expanding your skills. One way to advance in your career is with additional training. Obtaining certification or an advanced degree is an excellent method for earning a leg up on your coworkers. Taking the time to better yourself will almost always positively impact your career.
How to develop within your vocation with continuing education:
Meet your goals at work by joining a professional organization. These groups are an excellent way to meet new people in your field.
Some popular organization to capitalize on include:
Some employees avoid moving forward on career goals because it requires a lot of time and effort. If you’re interested in learning how to advance in your career, one way is to dress for success. There’s actually a bit of science behind this theory. A 2014 study for the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that sprucing up your style can increase job performance.
Dressing for the job you want can:
Although it might not be an obvious approach, hosting a party can help you advance your career. The mission of a networking get-together is to focus on forging or maintaining professional relationships.
If your place is too small for a big bash, you can even host your party at a neighborhood eatery or take advantage of Zoom and host a virtual gathering. Set a date and ask everyone on your guest list to bring a friend or two. The goal here is to connect with movers and shakers in surprising ways.
Some tips for a successful soiree include:
Your job performance alone won’t always open up doors for advancement. Sometimes, you actually have to ask for what you want. Most bosses aren’t mind-readers, so don’t assume yours knows that you’re dedicated to climbing the corporate ladder.
Ensure that management notices your good work. You’re right to expect to be rewarded for going above and beyond. Often employees assume that the higher-ups know what’s best when it comes to career advancement. Unfortunately, the truth is that many workers only get noticed when there’s a problem.
How to ask for a promotion:
Identifying your core values is a terrific place to start when organizing your priorities. Let go of any ideas of the perfect opportunity and focus on getting closer to a career that makes you happy.
Develop a wish list of items like:
If you find yourself biding time until you can land a better opportunity, do your best to stay engaged at your current position. Make every day at the office meaningful and put extra care into your assignments. You want to maintain a good working relationship with your boss while taking steps to learn how to advance in your career.
Keep your eyes on the prize and do something every day to move closer to your ideal job. Whether it’s taking a class or joining a networking group on Facebook, find something in your personal life that benefits your advancement intentions.
Learn more: Tell us what your experience has been like working at your company.
A polished resume is an essential tool for any job advancement strategy. However, having a vibrant website that showcases your skills and accomplishments is even better. Taking advantage of today’s technology demonstrates your value in a targeted way.
Keep a few things in mind, such as:
Don’t feel bad if you don’t dream of a high-powered position with a corner office. If you’ve achieved a pleasant comfort level at work, terrific. Having the self-awareness to know that you aren’t management material allows you to focus on performing the best you can every day.
How to know if you’re comfortable in your job:
Stop waiting to be discovered. Chart your path to a larger paycheck and a more fulfilling profession with these tips about how to advance your career.