It’s a competitive world out there these days, so moving up in your career field of choice is about more than simply showing up on time and doing the work. It takes know-how, dedication, and focused effort to make your career everything you want it to be, so it’s important to give it your all right from day one. The following tips touch on some nearly guaranteed ways to stand out in your field and make yourself an asset to absolutely any company you may work for in the future.
1. Go Above and Beyond
People that easily move up the ladder at their places of business are always looking for opportunities to show what they’re really made of. They start by being especially thorough, detail oriented, and capable when it comes to the responsibilities they already have. They also go above and beyond the call of duty whenever they can. Once you’re on top of your own to-do list, help colleagues with their workloads when it makes sense to do so. Be the first to volunteer if the boss needs help with something extra. Once you feel you’ve proven yourself, you may want to formally ask to be given more work or a higher level of responsibility.
2. Keep Building Your Skill Set
Many people see educating themselves in preparation for their field of choice as something you only do once. Go-getters who advance quickly think differently. They see education as an ongoing process, and they never stop looking for more opportunities to build a new skill or acquire new credentials that could really help them get where they want to be. Whether professional education for you means signing up for an upcoming workshop offered by your current company or earning an online masters degree in electrical and computer engineering to qualify for a specific position you want, go after it with gusto.
3. Choose a Mentor
One of the best ways to learn how to advance along a specific career trajectory is from someone who’s been there. The right mentor can teach you things from a personal perspective you’d be unlikely to learn any other way. Among other things, mentors can help you sort out the details of how best to get where you’d ultimately like to be. They can assist you in pursuing promotions, raises, and once-in-a-lifetime job opportunities successfully. Mentors have also mastered interpersonal skills like networking and cultivating business relationships over time. The right mentor or career coach can even help you figure out where to go next if you’re looking to switch careers or pursue a different path from the one you were previously on.
4. Be a Problem Solver
People who stand out from the rest of the pack at work are experts at making themselves positively indispensable. One great way to do this is by building a reputation for being the guy to talk to if there’s a problem that needs solving. You don’t have to start with the big stuff right away. Just look for small issues in your department or sector that can easily be fixed or streamlined with a little creative thinking. Volunteering to help with the training of new employees or to assist with projects that are especially complicated can be wonderful ways to prove you’re a problem solver (and leader) as well.
5. Be a Person of Integrity
Stepping out of your comfort zone and continually challenging yourself at work will definitely pay off a lot of the time, but you’ll probably make your share of mistakes as well. Always own up to mistakes when you do make them. Apologize when necessary, always be transparent, and act with integrity when it comes to all aspects of your work. Even mistakes can present opportunities to show you’re someone worth watching if you handle things just right.
Advancing in your career of choice is all about seizing opportunities and being clever in how you execute them. How do you keep moving forward at your place of business?