Most people see a big break as something that happens to them. A recruiter might find you or an interviewer might love you, and because of that other person, you get given an opportunity that you’ve always wanted.
While it’s true that the hiring manager of your dreams might give you a call one day, it’s unlikely that they will if you sit around and wait for them to come to you.
These great opportunities don’t just happen by chance – you have to create them. Not doing so could leave you in a rut. With that in mind, here are thirteen effective ways to advance your career.
#1 Ask For An Evaluation
Asking your boss for evaluation can certainly be a daunting experience. After all, no one likes to hear critiques about themselves.
However, this feedback can give you some excellent insight into how to improve your career. It allows you to see yourself from your employer’s point of view and create a plan on how to improve your performance from now on.
For those not currently in employment or who are self-employed, you could contact past employers or colleagues instead.
#2 Take On New Challenges
When your boss asks for volunteers for a project, don’t be afraid to speak up. Even when the job is outside of your area of expertise, you should consider taking on the challenge.
Not only does this give you an opportunity to grow your skillset and knowledge base but it also allows you to show your boss exactly what you’re capable of.
When you branch out like this, you become a more valuable employee. This means that you’ll be first in line when it comes to giving someone a promotion.
#3 Read About The Industry
Regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, it pays to stay up to date on the goings-on in your industry.
Magazines, news sites, trade papers, and blogs will all help you to widen your knowledge base and become more of an expert in your chosen field.
When you are able to talk about recent findings or trends and give your opinions on them, it shows that you care about the industry and your job. This can build authority and propel your career forward.
#4 Expand Your Skill Set
You might have a job that you’re happy with, but that doesn’t mean you should allow your skills to stagnate. This will hold you back from future opportunities and achieving your goals.
You can easily learn around your workload by taking a degree online with an education institution, like Rutgers. Even if you don’t necessarily need a new degree, you can still spice up your resume by becoming certified in a new skill.
Doing so will whole that you have the motivation to boost your career.
#5 Exploit Those Employee Benefits
The typical benefits of working a full-time job, such as a pension and health insurance, are easy to appreciate. However, you must make sure that you’re taking full advantage of any lesser-known perks too.
Some companies will pay you for any days you take off to volunteer or undergo training, for example, while others offer to pay for part or the entire cost of additional tuition.
Depending on the type of business you work for, you might also be given a staff discount to use.
#6 Get Involved In Networking
They say it’s not what you know, but who you know that makes the most difference in the business world. While this isn’t necessarily true, it is important that you start networking.
When you make sure that those in your industry know who you are, it makes it much more likely that you’ll be the one they turn to when there’s a job opening or another great opportunity.
Attending networking events and maintaining your social network profiles will help you make connections.
#7 Seek Out A Mentor
A mentor is someone who will give you objective and unbiased advice on your life, as well as your career. This can motivate you in unexpected and unparalleled ways.
When you find a person who has been where you are now and made it big, anything can seem possible. The only problem that you’ll have is finding a mentor.
You can’t just pick a stranger out of a crowd, after all. Although you can hire a career counselor, you might find a better mentor in your office or online.
#8 Work On Your Communication
Communication is key in business, whether you’re the one in charge or an employee. A passive voice is not going to give the impression of a strong and confident business person, either over email, on the phone, or in person.
Although every industry is different, and there are situations where you will need to soften your communication skills, you must always be straightforward and clear.
If you don’t think you are, then ask coworkers for feedback and use it to improve.
#9 Clear Up That Workspace
Whether you have a home office or work in one of many cubicles, an organized workspace will allow you to do your job more efficiently.
When you’re already stressed about the promotion you’re hoping to bag, the last thing that you need is clutter and disorganization to make it worse.
Because of this, you should take an afternoon to get your workspace in order. Once the place is clean and tidy, you’ll find it easier to stay productive, as there will be fewer distractions around.
#10 Streamline Your Daily Routine
Between checking social media, taking coffee breaks, and chatting with coworkers, you waste a lot of time every working day. While this might not seem too much of an issue, your boss will favor those that work more efficiently than you.
Rather than be overlooked, you should streamline your routine. Write down everything you do each day and identify activities that take you away from work. There are ways to eliminate these activities, like blocking distracting websites.
#11 Know What You’re Worth
Loving your job doesn’t mean that you should turn a blind eye to other opportunities. This could mean losing important footholds as you climb the career ladder.
Even when you have no plans of changing companies, you should listen out for other offers. When given one better than your current job, you can take it to your boss.
As long as you’re a valued employee, they will likely match or better the offer. It’s also crucial that you know the average salary for your position.
#12 Keep Up Your Health
Having time off work sick is the last thing that you need when trying to boost your career.
Although sickness happens and you’re not always going to be able to avoid it, there are things that you can do to improve your overall health.
Regular exercise, for example, will maintain and boost your physical fitness, as well as your mental wellbeing. You must also make sure that you eat three nutritious meals every single day and get a good night’s sleep.
#13 Dress For The Job
When you get ready for work in the morning, make sure that you dress for the job that you want, rather than the job that you have.
This will make you feel more confident, which is crucial when speaking to your boss about your career. Dressing up can also boost creativity, helping you in big projects where you’re required to think outside of the box.
When you work from home, it can be tempting to stay in your pajamas, but this should be avoided at all costs.
Taking matters into your own hands will give you the best possible chance of reaching your career goals. Hopefully, with this advice above, you’ll find this much easier to do.
What are you doing to advance your career?