Making progress in your business career requires more than just holding a degree and doing a good job. It takes planning from the outset. If you want to move your career along rapidly, career management is essential. It can be an ongoing struggle since the farther you move up the ladder the harder additional promotions are to earn. But there are some ways to ensure you make the most of any company role you’re given.
Set Career Goals
To be more successful and satisfied in your career, you should define your professional goals early on, and determine a career path that helps you focus your efforts. Decide exactly what you want, whether it’s a big salary, a senior management title, or industry-wide recognition. Without understanding what it takes to get there, you might feel directionless. Write out a detailed plan that lets you set short-term goals, adapt your strategy, and measure your career progress.
Consult with Influencers
Every company has its own unique ways of getting things done, and your first priority should be to become not only knowledgeable but skilled. Try forming a mentorship relationship with your boss and key players on your team. Ask questions, discuss experiences, and gather opinions. Take advantage of performance reviews to discuss your career plans with your boss, and ask what he/she expects before you can proceed to the next level.
Take Advantage of Training
Many companies provide training or learning programs to help in the development of their employee skill sets. They may have invested thousands of dollars because they know they’re getting better employees in return. Training may also be tax deductible. Some firms will provide tuition assistance for furthering your education, like an online MBA degree program. The more you learn, and the more your superiors recognize your growing range of talents, the more value they’ll see in you.
Be the person on your team who takes on challenges. You should be willing to solve problems, take on tough projects, and volunteer for meetings, presentations, or committees that others would decline. You’ll become a leader in your own department and a familiar face to the rest of the company. Every success will bring you more respect and attention from your peers, your boss, and eventually upper management. When a new promotion or opportunity opens up, you’ll likely be high on the list of candidates.
It can be a lot of pressure and hard work, but making your mark in your company is the shortest route to success. The earlier you can meet your goals, the more time you’ll have to reap the rewards.