“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
“What are your career goals?”
“What do you wish to achieve from your career?”
We’ve all been asked such questions at some point in our job-hunting journey.
While you may be unsure of the possible growth and development opportunities your organization may offer, it is crucial to keep these questions in mind upon securing your job.
According to a Gallup study, employees today are looking for a meaningful career, doing jobs that make a difference, and companies that they care about. Team members are looking to grow and develop instead of simply being a cog in a wheel with mundane, repetitive tasks every day.
Career development advice previously offered is no longer applicable to employees today who are hungry for career advancement. If you want to move up your career ladder, it requires a combination of hard work, socialization, and just a hint of luck.
Here are some strategies that you can use to develop and find meaning in your career.
Strategies to move up your career ladder
1. Know what you want
It would be easier for you to ascend your career ladder if you have a clear idea of where you want to be and what you want to achieve. Are you keen on leading a team? Would you like to handle major projects? Or are you interested in learning more about programming or digital marketing?
What you can do is create your own career profile. Review your academic and work history and make a list of activities you enjoyed the most. What projects, subjects, roles, and jobs did you find most satisfying? Then, identify your strengths that made you accomplish these activities. From here, you can then better identify what you wish to achieve from your career.
2. Set goals
After doing a self-assessment, you should have a clearer idea when setting your career goals. Set short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are mini milestones that are easier to set and achieve. Long-term goals provide you with the bigger picture of your ultimate goal in your career.
Your short-term goals are little milestones that are easier to achieve, which will gradually lead you to accomplish your long-term goals.
3. Create a plan
Just like setting goals, creating a plan is important! It serves as the roadmap to achieving your career goals. This allows you to stay accountable and take charge of what you find important to your success. Without a plan, there is no benchmark to measure your progress.
4. Increase your value in the organization
Instead of simply performing your own roles and responsibilities, constantly strive to improve yourself. Upskill and gain new knowledge. Take up certification courses. Follow industry leaders and stay updated on what knowledge is relevant in the workplace. The more knowledge you acquire, the more valuable you are to your organization.
5. Think outside the box
To ascend your career ladder, it is important not to settle. You should constantly review your current position and look for opportunities for advancement. For instance, while you may be in marketing but believe you will perform better in sales instead, you have to make a lateral move. This would broaden and enhance your experience. It is necessary to explore other roles in today’s workplace to better position yourself for an upward move.
6. Make use of the organization’s resources
So, you want to explore other positions but may not have the relevant skills and experience. Get the training you need. Organizations usually have formal training programs to help employees develop their careers.
If your organization does not offer it, explore external resources. It can be taking courses online or enrolling in night classes in local schools. These resources can range from improving your hard skills to focusing on soft skills such as creative thinking. It can even be skills that are out of your comfort zone and area of expertise.
Seek out a career coach to get a better understanding and focus on your career path into the future.
7. Build networks
Careers flourish based on your social circle. Take the time to get to know your bosses, managers, and colleagues. Attend conferences and company events. Be friendly and helpful, and get along with your colleagues. You can even reach out to people with comparable jobs at other organizations to understand industry trends.
Maintaining and nurturing these relationships can be strategic in making a move for your career. You can also seek a mentor at work who will advise you on ascending your career ladder and getting the right attention.
8. Be a leader
As you are planning your career path, it would be helpful to challenge yourself and take on projects. You can speak up in meetings, come up with fresh insights and ideas, give presentations. Be the person your organization turns to when they face challenges. If you want to ascend and move up your career ladder, seek to step out of your comfort zone.
You can look at your bosses and colleagues of a higher position than you and think of what they are doing well. Learn from them and emulate them in those ways that they are excelling in.
9. Be a team player
A good team leader is also a good team player. Your employers are always looking at how employees work with the rest of the team and other departments. If you can work well with other people, it serves as an added advantage to your career.
10. Track your progress and achievements
Last but not least, always set some time to reflect on what you have accomplished. Have you checked off the short-term goals set by yourself? Are you satisfied with your career path thus far? What have you achieved in your role?
Put all your achievements in terms your organization can respect — revenue gained, deals closed and clients won, etc. It can be helpful to share whenever you achieve something noteworthy.
Moving up the career ladder
In your career, having a vision and goals to work towards makes the difference between climbing high up the career ladder and remaining status quo.
Following the strategies would allow you to understand better what you wish to achieve from your career and make the most out of it.
To better understand what career development is and more helpful tips for ascending your career ladder, join us in our upcoming webinar on Career Development as industry experts bring you through the future of your career ladder.