Are you stuck in a rut, drug or have the feeling that you are not where you want to be? Whether you’ve been working at the same place for 5 years or you are an eager new employee, a thought that may often cross your mind is, how can I get ahead? It is embedded in human nature to want to strive for more and this is no different in the workplace setting. If you have decided that you want to advance in the company you work for or in your line of career, and don’t know get there, check out these tips to jumpstart the progress you have been searching for.
Identify exactly where it is that you want to go. If the senior editor at your firm approaches you and asks where you see yourself in the next year, you should have an exact answer down to the office you want to be in, the role you want to play, and how you will be an asset for that position.
Identify someone in the position you want to be in and befriend him or her. Disclaimer! This is easier said than done. That person may be difficult to approach, have a standoffish personality or just not willing to help, but when trying to progress in your career, you have to be prepared to be put in some uncomfortable positions to attain the knowledge that you need. Learning from someone that is where you want to be is key to your professional development. By doing so, you will understand what it takes, gain ideas, develop strategies and pick up some much needed advice.
Give it all you’ve got! If there are seminars being held, unpaid trainings/internships, books you can read or talks being given, make it a point to get involved. Please realize that there is no room for laziness, and the more information you get, the better equipped you will be. Of course, this will require a lot more time than you put in at your actual place of work, but it is important to remember that if you think you want it that bad, there are a plethora of people out there that want it ten times more than you do! There are people out there that are working while you are sleeping and there is someone out there that will stop at nothing to get to where you want to be.
Keep your eyes open. Your path may be unorthodox compared to the ones that are often traveled and that is okay. Keeping your eyes open for niche markets, routes less traveled, and opportunities are key on your path to career progression.
Stay true to yourself. No one can be you, and your abilities, qualities and morals offer something that others do not have. You might have to bend and pull to where you want to be, but if you find yourself becoming a different person, especially a person you don’t want to be, it is time to take a step back and re evaluate.
It’s okay to say goodbye. Sometimes what you envision is not always what’s best for you. We often get comfortable with our positions or set ideas, but sometimes leaving gives you the nudge you need to get to where you want to go. Moving to another company, a different state, or starting your own business could just be what it takes to push you to the next level.
Written by Robin Waife