Every New Year many employees make work related resolutions. Unlike those that just work for a paycheck, ambitious individuals learn what they can do to improve in their roles or how they can advance within their organizations. Depending upon the type of organization a person works for, advancement opportunities may not be easy to obtain. However, improving one’s work ethics, learning a new skill, and/or developing knowledge can increase confidence and the ability to become exceptional in one’s present position.
The following suggestions are those many successful individuals utilize to make the appropriate professional development steps toward their career advancement:
1. Attend Trainings – Many organizations offer specialized trainings and workshops for employees to develop knowledge and skills in specific areas. Some of the trainings may require travel to a different county, city, or state. If so, inquire about staff training budgets that may cover expenses for these particular opportunities.
2. Network – Connect with internal and external professionals. Internal employees can be helpful resources for learning how to develop techniques and strategies to improve in a current position. External professionals can be useful resources to learn about opportunities at other organizations.
3. Find a Mentor – Find one or more creditable, yet knowledgeable individuals willing to provide one-on-one consultations. Consultations usually involve topics relating to the mentor’s experiences within an organization. Topics can include supervisory styles, steps toward career advancement, ways to deal with difficult staff and critical situations, and other matters. This information can be utilized effectively by employees seeking improvement in particular areas. Mentors can also be used as sounding boards for advice and other work related subject matters. It is beneficial however, for mentors to be trustworthy, discreet, and honest. This will ensure all information shared and discussed is confidential and feedback is reliable.
4. Research – Stay up-to-date with information relevant to a desired and/or current position. For advancement goals, focus on skills, education, certifications, experience, and other qualifications needed for a specific position and what steps have to be taken to be considered for an advancement role. For improvement goals, focus on skills, experience, and knowledge to determine what steps need to be taken to progress in a current role.
5. Keep Résumé Current – Regularly update résumé information. This information should include current contact information, job titles and responsibilities, education, certifications, professional social clubs, volunteering, and any other information such as awards or honors that will highlight qualifications relevant for an advancement role. Also, when applying for a specific job, ensure the objective is relevant to that particular position; or if applying for multiple similar jobs, ensure the objective is general and targets a specific field (i.e. customer service at a reputable organization.)
6. Shadow other Professionals – Schedule one or more days and times with professionals to shadow them throughout their workday. This can provide a direct view into a position and be beneficial to gain insight on what a particular job entails before pursuing or making a commitment to a new role.
7. Be Yourself – Regardless of professional goals and desires, being oneself often highlights genuine personality and showcases real capabilities and talents. Being authentic, yet professional is, in many opinions, the best way to be successful.
Best Wishes for Jumpstarting your 2013 Career!