Career Advancement: What Works And What Doesn’t Alt title: Ready For The Next Step? 4 Ways To Advance Your Career

When it comes to our professional lives, it’s unfortunately easy to get stuck in a rut. Maybe you got passed over for a promotion or can’t seem to get an interview at your dream company, so you’ve just resigned yourself to your current role. Well, it’s time to retrain your eyes on the prize, because you can take the next step in your career – at least you can if you have the proper preparation. 


Amp Up Your Education


One of the easiest ways to show that you’re ready to take the next step in your career is by pursuing additional educational credentials related to your field, and with so many courses available online, doing so is more convenient than ever. That being said, it is important to carefully evaluate your options since not all courses are of equal quality. For example, while free online courses are a great way to evaluate your interest in a topic, they’re unlikely to hold the value or authority of college credits or an industry recognized course.


Earn A New Certification


While taking a relevant course can help to show your employer that you’re passionate about your work and hope to move through the ranks, many managers express concerns that taking a class is not the same as demonstrating mastery. That’s why, if you’re in an industry that offers formal certifications, it’s worth considering pursuing such licencing.


One thing to keep in mind, if you are considering earning a professional certification, is that doing so can be quite challenging and even expensive. For example, a quality CPA exam prep program can cost hundreds of dollars and take months to complete, but given the quality of the certification, you may be able to convince your employer to support your training or reimburse you for exam fees.


Prioritize Networking


As the old saying goes, it’s not necessarily what you know, but who you know that matters, and this is true in many different parts of life. In professional settings, then, that means that even if you’re working remotely, you need to make networking a priority. Building a professional network can ensure you’re among the first to hear about job opening, help you gain insights into what hiring managers are looking for, and help you get your foot in the door at a new company. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of these connections, thinking that your resume will speak for itself, but having the inside track is often more important.


Make Your Accomplishments Clear


Everyone is working as hard as they can, and that includes your supervisor, who may not always be keeping close tabs on your professional accomplishments. So, although you don’t need to – and shouldn’t – update them on every task you complete, you may want to consider sending a regularly scheduled recap email to your manager highlighting major accomplishments and initiatives, what your next steps are, and what resources or support you’ll need to be successful. How often you send this sort of message will depend on the nature of  your work, but they’re a valuable way of ensuring that your supervisor is aware of how hard you’re working and your efforts to do the best work possible.


Climbing the career ladder looks different in different industries, but in general your goal should be to focus on increasing your professional skills and industry connections. Those efforts, in combination with a freshly polished resume and digital presence, can make you a front runner for just about any position.

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