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5 Smart Strategies to Help Advance Your Career

by Louise W. Rice

Advancing in your career often requires putting in long hours and proving yourself over time. While this works, you may not want to wait for years to attract the attention of your boss. Luckily, there are some smart strategies you can use to help fast-track your career growth. Read on for some proven tips.

Ask for More Responsibilities

Don’t be afraid to raise your hand for new projects or responsibilities at work. This shows initiative and drive. When you take on more, you gain new skills and prove you can handle greater challenges. This often leads to promotions. However, be careful not to take on more than you can handle, as this will backfire spectacularly.

Speak Up with Ideas

Share your ideas and solutions in meetings and with your manager. Offer constructive feedback on processes as well. Coming forward with innovations demonstrates leadership ability and problem-solving skills and will help you stand out from the others in your team or department.

Build Your Network

Networking is very important. Getting to know more leaders at your company and in your field provides visibility and learning opportunities. Attend networking events, connect on LinkedIn, and reach out for informational interviews. The broader your network, the more you increase your chances for advancement, and the easier it is to leverage connections when you are ready to jump ship into a better role.

Seek Out a Mentor

Find someone more senior in your industry who can provide advice and guidance. A mentor can help you navigate your field while providing insider knowledge. They may also recommend you for key assignments and even new roles.

Talk to your manager if you feel like a mentor could help your career. They can recommend someone within the company who has more experience. Alternatively, reach out to someone you have connected to online, someone you admire, and ask them to mentor you.

Develop New Skills

Employers value workers who have up-to-date technical skills and soft skills like communication and teamwork. There are a variety of online courses and other training options you can use to stay on top of your industry and specialize.

If you plan to add additional qualifications and skills to your resume and LinkedIn profile, here are a few useful tips:

  • Find out what skills are in demand in your field and look for classes in those subject areas at a local college or online program. Product management, data science, and marketing are examples of roles with plenty of educational opportunities.
  • Does your employer offer tuition reimbursement? If so, take advantage of this wonderful benefit and earn a degree after work. Many companies will cover a percentage or all of your tuition.
  • Attend seminars, webcasts, and certificate programs. Many professional organizations and online learning platforms offer short courses in niche subjects that allow professionals to gain expertise in highly specialized areas.
  • Talk to your manager or HR department about skill gaps they recommend filling. Find out what additional qualifications will make you more promotable. Then, actively work to gain those skills.
  • Consider earning a master’s degree in a field related to your career. While this requires a longer time and money commitment, it also opens doors to the highest levels of leadership, which you will need if you want to enter the C-suite in the future.

Making strategic moves to boost your education pays off in the long run with more job opportunities and higher pay. Prioritize learning new skills consistently throughout your career.

Following these few strategies can put you on the fast track to advancement in your career. Set goals, work hard, and get noticed for going above and beyond. With dedication and smart moves to build your abilities, you will achieve career success.

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