Are you still early in your career and struggling to get ahead? You aren't alone.
You can't rely on a company to give you everything you need to advance your career. In fact, many people choose to switch jobs to get the career advancements that they're looking for.
But that isn't the only way to go about things. There are several strategies you can use to advance your career.
Follow the nine career tips below to start fast-tracking your career path.
1. Lay Out Your Goals
Is the only goal you have more money? If so, the chances are that you'll have a hard time advancing your career.
Instead of having a broad goal, try to narrow down your focus.
What position do you want? What do you need to learn to get there? Who do you need to work with to advance your career?
The more you hone in on the specifics, the better you can plan. Once you have your goals, focus on the biggest action items you can take that will get you there.
2. Take Notice of Your Performance
Many people wait until their performance appraisal to come up to examine how they're doing on a professional level. Don't do this.
Instead, develop a system to keep track of your performance at all times. The metrics you keep track of will depend on the goals you come up with during the planning stage.
You can use your goals to come up with actional steps for you to follow. This will give you a path to improve yourself throughout the year.
3. Constantly Learn
It doesn't matter what career path you're going down. You need to be willing to learn if you want to get further ahead.
Don't limit yourself to the resources at your company. The internet has plenty of resources available for free that you can make use of.
If there is something to learn, YouTube likely has a video on it. If you're looking for a more professional course, sites like Udemy and Skillshare has numerous paid courses available for you to take.
Many careers also have certifications available that employers look for. Take advantage of them to make yourself more attractive to hire.
4. Learn How to Communicate
If you're planning on making an impact in an organization, you can't get away from working with other people. If you have problems with confrontation, working with others, or social interaction, then you're going to have a hard time advancing your career.
Luckily, this is a problem that you can fix. But it won't come without practice. Spend time working on the way you communicate with others until it becomes second nature.
5. Know When to Ask for Help
Nobody can know everything. Unfortunately, some people think that it will make them look foolish.
While some people will look down on you for this, most people won't. In fact, most people are happy to help and will give you advice on your problem areas.
Would you rather spend five minutes getting an answer from someone who knows or spend hours trying to figure a problem out for yourself?
6. Don't Worry About Mistakes
Yes, nobody likes making mistakes. But mistakes aren't the end of the world. They're an opportunity for you to learn and come out better.
It's common for people to get down on themselves when they make mistakes. Don't let this happen. Doing this will change your mood for the worse, and this can affect your job performance.
Instead, figure out what you did wrong and work on making sure it never happens again. You'll come out stronger in the end and become a better employee.
7. Brand Yourself
In the world of the internet, it's more important than ever to put your best foot forward online. This means you need to put some effort into building a personal brand for yourself.
Companies are looking to hire experts. Even if you have world-class skills, if you don't communicate to people that you're an expert, companies will gravitate to someone that can better convey your skills.
Spend some time to polish your resume and establish yourself on professional networking websites. Another option is to build a personal website. You can start a blog to talk about your industry so you can communicate your expertise in your field.
Your self development plan is a great place to incorporate this strategy.
8. Expand Your Network
If you start a job hunt without a personal network, you're starting from the bottom. Things change when you know people.
Your personal network will give you resources and opportunity that would be hard to get otherwise. Find the places where people in your field hang out, and start making connections.
Of course, don't just join these networks and do nothing but take. Show that you have value to provide people. When you show people that you can solve their problems, they will be more likely to turn to you when they need to hire someone.
9. Learn How to Listen
Yes, you're trying to improve your career. It makes sense that you want to talk about that and figure out what you can do to accelerate your progress. But you won't do this by talking over other people.
Learn how to listen to what other people are saying. Doing this is how you figure out what problems need to be solved.
Learning how to listen is also how you prevent miscommunication. Sure, you may feel like dozing off in a long meeting or tuning out a co-worker when they're talking about their day. But when you keep track of what others are saying, you're showing that you listen, which will improve your standing in any organization.
Follow These Career Tips to Get Ahead
Building a successful career isn't easy. Make sure to use the career tips above to start accelerating your progress and set yourself up for the future. When you have a plan, you'll be more likely to see success.
If you're looking to move jobs as part of your career path, then head over to our job board. There are plenty of opportunities to find a position that works for you.