You should always be thinking about how to advance your career. Even if you’re unhappy with your current job, you can still appreciate the skills you’re picking up and how they’re preparing you for the next step in your career. Embrace the experience you’re receiving and the contacts you’re making as you set goals to reach the next level. With hard work and initiative, you can become an indispensable asset, ripe for either a promotion or a better position at a new company.
Here are five habits you can carry out to help advance your career.
Do your job well
Deliver the best results you can on every task. Show that you have passion for your job by asking for more responsibility and doing more than expected.
Learn your strengths and weaknesses and improve both. In particular get good at communicating and managing time efficiently. Education is crucial—learn a new skill, pursue additional degrees, and take advantage of online programs. Make yourself indispensable to your department by mastering a unique set of technical skills or developing talents that you already possess. And remember to let management see all your efforts.
Build a network
Establish relationships with other professionals both within your department and outside your company. You want peers you can go to for advice as well as a mentor with greater experience to help you problem solve and overcome obstacles. Learn what they do well and what you can learn from them. And most importantly, help others when you can. Not only is the ability to collaborate with others a valuable skill, but you also never know when someone will be able to return a favor.
Make a plan for your career development and pursue it with vigor. Talk to your boss about your goals and let him guide you in that process. What do you need to improve or learn? Commit yourself to continuous improvement.
Commit yourself to your career and the process of advancing. Remember that you’re the only one who can take initiative to propel your career. Other people can help you, but ultimately you have to make the effort yourself to improve your skills and keep learning. Celebrate your achievements as you make them to keep yourself driven. And make sure you balance your work life with your personal life. Have an outlet or a fun hobby to participate in. If you’re not happy, it’s hard to stay focused and motivated.