This is the million-dollar question…literally. For most, moving forward and upwards with your career is at the top of your professional goals as you want more responsibility and higher compensation. There are a number of things you can do to help improve your chances of accelerating your career and getting you into a position you always dreamed of:
Have a plan. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This couldn’t be more true. Do your research or work with your recruiter to find roles and careers that have a clear path to where you want to go. Similar to any business plan, project or even a building blueprint, have timelines and benchmarks for you to achieve:
- # of professional contacts you want to make each year
- # of relevant networking groups you want to join
- Certifications or education credits you need to advance
Most importantly, find a mentor who can help and advise you. Find someone you trust and admire and chat with them every quarter or so to discuss your goals, questions and roadblocks. Listen to their advice and learn from their experience.
Working With A Recruiter
Believe it or not, a recruiter can be a huge asset for several reasons:
- They can keep an eye out for a job, role or company that fits your career strategy and goals so you don’t have to. Talk with a trusted recruiter about where you want your career to go and that perfect “next step” job can fall into your lap.
- A great recruiter understands career advancement. They are a great resource and sounding board because they talk to hiring managers all day long. They know the experience and soft skills managers want in future leaders, why they are considering firing a certain employee and what a resume needs to look like in order to land an interview.
A good recruiter will listen first. They will review your skills, strategy and vision before jumping to conclusions. Once you find a perfect recruiter match, use them to help move forward with your career.
Know Your Political Structure
Every company has some sort of internal structure that should be identified and respected. Take the time to determine who has influence and who is valued by management and align with them. These people are often not the ones who approached you when you first started. Steer clear of gossipers and complainers. Management knows who they are and you don’t want to be associated with them. You want to be associated with the problem solvers who “get it done.”
Remove The Burr In Management’s Saddle
Most people avoid the hard tasks, right? Don’t be that person. Regardless of the job, everyone has a small amount of work time where you can choose what you work on. Be the person who takes on the hard tasks that no one can seem to conquer. Instead of surfing the web or chatting with co-workers, be the champion and solve a problem. Finding ways to improve processes, streamline work efficiency or improve overall work quality will get the attention of the upper brass and label you as a company leader who gets stuff done. Employees who do this often leapfrog up the ladder because they did the hard job that no one else was willing to do.
Accelerating your career is hard work, but everyone who consistently achieves their goals will all tell you the same thing: it is worth it. Taking the time to build a plan, aligning with smart people and executing key tasks is a sure-fire way to move you up quickly. If you have questions about this article or recruiters in general, please don’t hesitate to contact the Talance Group at 713-357-9565.