You’re a good "worker bee," but you’ve been in the same position for several years now. It’s time to move up. The temptation in these tough times is to stay under the radar, do your job and not worry about advancement. But something inside you says you need to move ahead or you’ll simply stagnate and watch others climb over you. Some tips to help you reach the next rung up the career ladder:
Prepare a “battle plan.” Put your career advancement plan in writing. Target where you want to be in three months, six months, and a year from now. Establish metrics and benchmarks for your success in networking, in mining contacts, and your participation in professional organizations and groups that can connect you with the right people. These may be higher ups in your division or outside it.
Draw up a “Justify” Sheet. This requires some careful self-appraisal of your talents, skills and track record of achievements. The goal is to always be ready to justify your ability to handle the job you’re shooting for. You need to have these justifications down—like an elevator pitch. So when you meet the right contact who can promote you, you’ll be ready. Remember: success is when preparation meets opportunity.
Arm yourself with skills and knowledge. Find out what people working in the position you’re shooting for must know to succeed. Attend continuing education courses. Bring yourself "up to speed" on the latest technologies and techniques the position calls for. Be aware of industry trends and changes. You should be able to carry on a conversation with upper management on these and other topics related to the position you seek.
Hone your phone and face-to-face interviewing skills. Practice interviewing with a friend or colleague. Set up mock interviews over the phone and in person. Get to where you can answer all questions with an effective, concise three- or four-sentence reply.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions about career advancement, feel free to share them in the comments section.
Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.