“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning” -Benjamin Franklin
This quote has significance in almost everyone’s life. Imagine working at a place where your skills are put to good use, but you do not see yourself progressing in any meaningful way. It is a good thing if you are proactive and do not let your career reach a dead-end.
Here are five proven ways that promise a flourishing career.
1. Professional development
Increase your skill set and make knowledge your strength. Acquiring additional skills such as proposal writing, research skills, and making a sales pitch can improve your chances of moving up the corporate ladder. When was the last time you attended a seminar or a lecture? Invest in yourself now to get the return in the future. Go for training programs, certifications, professional clubs/associations. You will set yourself a notch higher from your competitors in the corporate world. Plus, you will get to know the latest developments in your field of interest.
2. Set goals
Unless you know what you want from your career, you can’t work towards it. Set goal for 3-5 years and revise them periodically as your preferences and long-term plans keep changing with time.
Think it this way: ‘Who’s job do you want in future?’ What will you need to do for it? You are currently a product manager in an MNC. What skills will you need to acquire to be the Head of the OTC department? Will you need to pursue an MBA for it? Give yourself a timeline to work with. Boost your career by setting realistic goals.
This can not be emphasized enough. Going straight to work and then coming straight back home is probably not going to help your career prospects very much. Widen your horizon, meet new people and expand your circle of influence. Professional seminars again come into play here.
Contacts, be it in an organization or outside (e.g. experts, mentors, executives), help you in career growth. You may need them to put in a good word for you somewhere or refer you to a job opportunity. Professional advice from them can also be of great help. Any contact can be helpful at any point in your career.
4. Challenge yourself
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have mastered, you will never grow.” – C. R. Lawton
Challenging yourself is good for your career. You will not know your capabilities unless you challenge yourself. Volunteer for tasks at your workplace. Assist people around the organization. You can develop new connections and skills just by working a bit harder within your organization. That is how you can contribute towards your career growth. My mentor once mentioned that for an in-house promotion, your superiors can ask any of your co-workers for their opinion or recommendations. So, if you have built around the office a rapport of taking on challenging tasks, it is going to work in your favor.
5. Move on
If you are not moving anywhere in your job right now, then move on. It is better to start fresh from a new place than waste your abilities where your contribution is not valued and no learning opportunities exist. It also helps you expand your skill set.