If you’ve been working in the human resources field or related area for a while, it’s probably time to think about ways to further your career. Whether this means a promotion or looking for a top job with another firm, it’s important to have a plan in place if you want to get into a management role and keep on progressing as the years go by. If you’re keen to make your way further into talent management this year, read on for some top tips you can follow to help aid your journey.
Know What You Want to Achieve
Firstly, it is important to be aware of what you actually want to achieve in your career, so that you can find the best strategy to go after it. You need to be clear on your big-picture career mission and then set yourself goals (both short-term and long-term). Once this is done you can go ahead and pursue them with passion.
Having goals will stop you from floundering in your career, and getting stuck in the one job or area for too long. It will also help you to stop wasting time and energy on activities which take you further away from where you want to be; and will enable you to be happier over the years, as you will be progressing, career-wise.
Take the time to sit down and think about your interests, values, skills, experience, talents, and life purpose. Use this information, and knowledge of your industry and current trends, to put together a career “action plan” that you can keep coming back to as the months and years go by. This will make it easier to identify the types of roles that will propel you forward and to steer clear of those that will set you back or that are just a sideways move.
Another key thing to do to continually further your career is keep learning. Once you have career goals in place, you can look at your current knowledge level and abilities, and work out where you might be lacking, or what completely new skills you need to add to your repertoire if you are going to get the kind of jobs you’re after.
There are numerous ways you can go about your professional development. For starters, you might want to study a broad business degree (there are many online MBA programs with no GMAT required, for instance), or hone in with a specific higher degree in human resources and/or management. Having the qualification that comes with these types of programs can make a big difference when it comes to landing your dream job.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel ready for this type of study, or are looking to fill gaps in your knowledge in more specific areas, consider going to conferences and attending workshops. This can be a great way to learn about a new technology, or a recently-developed management system, for example. You can also get a lot out of reading books, blogs, newsletters, industry magazines, and studies. Each little tip or nugget of knowledge that you pick up can help you to achieve your career goals.
Lastly, keep in mind that the promotions and new jobs you’re after won’t just fall in your lap. You need to be proactive about going after them. For example, it pays to find ways to get noticed by your current bosses or by potential new employers or hiring managers.
In your current role, look for ways to stand out. Go above and beyond in your day to day work, and try to pre-empt the needs of your supervisors and company. You should get along with your co-workers, and communicate effectively. When you excel in your job time after time, it’s hard not to be noticed for the results you achieve and to be rewarded in turn.
It’s also wise to spend time networking. This will help you to find and connect with professionals in your industry, and to see out new career opportunities (often before they are even made public knowledge). While it is good to attend in-person networking events in your local area, try to make it to state, national or even international events when you can so that you can broaden your network and interact with people you might never have otherwise have met.
As well, make sure you are proactive on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Use these platforms to get to know the movers and shakers in your industry, and to demonstrate your expertise in your field. Post regular, fresh content online on your own pages, plus join relevant groups and contribute helpful comments to discussions.
As well, when it comes to being proactive, remember that sometimes you just have to simply ask for what you want. Bosses aren’t mind readers after all, and may not realize that you’re keen for a promotion or that you’re looking to change direction slightly. If you don’t ask people to help you achieve your career goals, you’ll never know what might have been possible.