If you’re feeling stuck in your current career path and you’re ready to take the next professional leap forward, there are several methods that can help you to begin this journey. While many people begin their careers with high levels of energy and optimism, it is common to experience a sense of dissatisfaction accompanied by a desire to advance after a certain amount of time.
Fortunately, there are many practical ways to continue on a path of professional development as you look to step up your career. Here are 6 methods you can begin to implement right away.
1. Evaluate your skills and strengths. One of the first places to begin your journey is by taking a close inventory of your skillset. What skills have you developed and mastered over time, and what skills still need to be developed? If you want to advance in your career, you may be required to learn new skills. Knowing which skills these are can help you decide the next course of action.
On the other hand, you may have highly desired skills that you can use to market yourself in a new position. By getting clear on all of your skills and strengths, you can use them as a guide in setting new career goals.
2. Set career goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Without clearly defined goals, you will not have the direction you need to move up in your career. When you take some time to write out your goals (pen to paper is a powerful way to do this), you will identify the steps you need to get from point A to point B. Depending on your specific goals, you may be required to gain more work experience or specialized certification before you can take the next step.
3. Network with other professionals in your field. Networking is one of the most effective ways for you to build meaningful relationships that could eventually help you move up in your career. Schedule time on your calendar each month to invest in meeting with others as you aim to build relationships. As you establish yourself within your networking groups, you will be surprised at how eager others are to support you with your business goals. A quick online search will produce dozens of networking opportunities near you.
4. Take courses or attend workshops to improve your knowledge and skills. As you look for ways to step up your career, you may consider a return to education. With courses and certifications for every pursuit, obtaining a degree can give you the competitive edge you are looking for. Thankfully in today’s online environment, you can find a program to match every schedule and need. You may choose to pursue a master’s online, for example, to begin paving the way to greater opportunities within your industry.
5. Stay up-to-date on industry trends. In the world of business, things are always changing. While you shouldn’t lose sleep or grow anxious over it, it is important that you do your best to stay informed about new trends and developments within your industry. The better informed you are, the better you can market your skills and knowledge. You can stay informed about updates in trends by regularly communicating with others through networking, reading industry publications, and browsing online activity, including social media. By keeping your eyes and ears open, you will gain valuable insight which you can use as leverage as you move up in your career.
6. Be proactive in your job search. It’s important to take an active role as you seek to advance in your career. Through networking, course enrollment, seeking new opportunities, and actively applying for positions, you will inevitably reach your goals. By entering this new phase of your career journey with patience and determination, you will also enjoy new levels of growth, which will serve you in the long term both personally and professionally.