How to take your career to the next level

If you are a few years into a career and are just wondering where to go with it, then this is the blog post for you. Simply because, if you define your job as something where you just keep your head down and go through the motions to get you through the week, then you may be headed for a career in mediocrity. Given that careers are so competitive, then you do need to go that extra mile to truly stand out from the rest of the crowd. You do have to have some fire in your belly, though, and really want to grow your career; motivation is a must.

So with all of that in mind, here are some of the things that you can do to make sure that you are able to grow your career, and take things to the next level; where do you want to go with your career?

If you help your boss, you will help yourself
Do you want a big raise and to get a promotion? If that sounds like you, then you need to do what it takes to help your manager or boss to get their raise or promotion. If you can help them to do that, and you play an instrumental part in that success, then it will help you to be able to succeed too. So make sure that you are committed to working hard and when the business grows and your boss succeeds, it will follow that you do too.

If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem
There is little time for any leader in business to be able to carry ‘dead wood,’ so to speak. So if you are working with little effort, then could you be the dead wood in your team? You need to be able to step up and add some value to the business. You could be the one that put your hands up to do something when no one else wants to. You could bring forward some ideas and new thoughts that are able to help the business to grow and help to improve things with customers. Think of ways of working that could be better, and then implement these things as best practice in the business. From there, you are much more likely to be the person that people will go to when they need an assignment to be done right.

Anticipate needs ahead of time
If you just wait for things to happen at work or wait around for someone to tell you what to do, then you can quite quickly become expendable. If you look at it from an employer’s point of view, they have an easier time when they have colleagues wanting to do work for them and are being proactive. If they have a team full of people that need a lot of guidance and instruction, then it can be hard as a leader and can be draining. So make sure that you start to use your initiative much more. You can understand the strategic direction of the business that you work in and then it can help you to get there faster by thinking about what needs to be done in business. Think ahead, be proactive, and try to anticipate what is needed, so that you can be one step ahead of the game, making you much more valuable in your role.

Always be learning
If you have been to college, then it doesn’t mean that you stop learning. Even if you haven’t been to college, there are so many things in your career that will help you to always keep learning. So have you thought about what is going on in your industry, and what the key trends are? Are there different strategies that you could try, that could be a complete game changer? As well as professional development that can be offered in job roles, you could also suggest to your employer courses or other things that you are interested in doing, that could help you to improve. Places like USC do online courses, so these things could be a good thing to think about, if you want some formal training that could improve your career and current job role. You could look to go to different workshops that can help you to build skills, as well as just being open to some new ideas and ways of thinking in the business. You just need to think ahead and commit to being a learner all of the time.

Build trust
Are you someone that keeps your word when you have committed to do something? Can people rely on you to make a difference? Are you able to take on a project and finish it on time, as well as delivering it on a budget? Have you ever been described as someone who has integrity? Are you able to actually do what you want to say you are going to do? If you want to give your career a boost, then you need to be able to answer yes to these questions. If you are able to build some trust with others, then it is going to make you a much more valued colleague, and that will mean you are much more likely to be in with a chance when it comes to promotions, and so on.

Stay positive
Work is work. But it shouldn’t be something that you dread. If you can be positive and happy at work, then people will enjoy being around you. Be professional, but remember that you can have some fun. You can also remember to smile, and it can be a great positive force for the whole team to see, and sets a good example for others.

This is a collaborative post that was ghost written for More From My Career.

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