How to Advance in Your Career

Do you want to advance in your career, but find yourself stuck in a rut? To move on up, you need to take control. It is essential to have a strategy to reach your career goals.

Here are five actions to help you advance.


1. Find a mentor – Anyone serious about their profession will stick their neck out and find an advisor. It is proven that people with mentors are more likely to get promoted. Seek out a high level individual who can help you best advance and is willing to become a sponsor for you. Then, don’t forget the most important part, ask! There are many people willing to share their experience. All you have to do is ask.

2. Think like an owner. How would you perform everyday if you were working for yourself? That is how you should treat a job. Treat your 9 to 5 as a consulting assignment. Companies today do not guarantee to keep you for life. As a contractor, you can’t coast through the day. You must do an excellent job for your portfolio and learn as much as possible from each position. You want to build an arsenal of skills in case you must jump to another company. Not to mention, you will always stand out with exemplary work.

3. Be the squeaky wheel. It is up to the employee to make sure higher ups take note of a job well done. You must have the mindset that you should be rewarded for going the extra mile. We can’t assume management knows how, or who to promote. Doing a great job will not automatically win you brownie points. Management is mostly concerned with eliminating problems. In fact, employees usually draw the most attention when something goes wrong. You can gain positive attention by participating in office discussions. Stay front and center by sitting near the meeting leader. Look over the agenda before attending meeting and prepare a few interesting talking points. Waiting quietly in the background will not help your promotion.

4. Give a helping hand. You can raise your visibility by helping others with work overflow. It is especially effective when completing tasks beyond your job description. Some ideas are to organize the yearly team building event or during orientation train the new hires. It may be out of your comfort zone, but volunteering is a great way to impress executives with your teamwork and leadership abilities. Few employees ask to take on extra work, so the request will not go unnoticed. Just make sure you have demonstrated you can handle the work or you will not be taken seriously.

5. Take credit where credit is due. Now that you’ve put in the work you have to let your presence be known. Accept the credit graciously when someone gives you a compliment. Never just shrug it off. If you devalue your work so will everyone else. Worse, someone might come behind you and take credit for all your hard work! Self-promoting is an important skill far career advancement. Consider presenting your team’s accomplishments at the next performance meeting. Send your boss a weekly status report via email highlighting your own accomplishments. Who you know is important, but making sure the right people know you are essential to advance in your career.

By Asif Moin