Shortcuts to moving ahead in your career

Do you feel that your career has turned into a treadmill with only one speed — slow?

Some employees who aren’t happy with their income or career opportunities decide to chuck the whole thing and go into another field or industry entirely. Others take the big leap into entrepreneurship, going it alone against the same companies that they once worked for. These choices may sound liberating, but they can blow up in your face and leave you without any income at all. Here are some ways you can modify your work life without leaving your profession — by jump-starting the career advancement engine.

Get to know those in the know. The phrase “It’s all about who you know” may sound like a cliché, but clichés become clichés by having a kernel of truth to them. Many managers do in fact hire and promote the people they like and can get along with, even if those folks’ resumes don’t stand out from the pile. Additionally, many companies and organizations put a premium on hiring from within.

The more co-workers and supervisors you establish a solid rapport with, the more frequently you’ll spring to the tops of their minds when they have to move someone up into a vacant management post. You don’t have to turn into Mr. Suck-Up, just make an effort to learn more about the people you work with, and let them learn more about you. It’s called relationship building, and among other wonderful things it’s a potent shortcut to advancement.

Today’s friend could be tomorrow’s career-advancing recommendation.

Find out what they want from you. Do you covet a particular position higher up on the company ladder? Check out the online profiles of others who have reached that exalted level. What skills and experience do they have that you don’t? At the same time, watch the company bulletin boards or website for posted job openings, and read the job requirements until you know them by heart. Then focus on the most desirable job qualities and work on improving your own skills in those areas until you can legitimately add them to your resume.

Also, you know those annual employee reviews? This year, don’t just glance over yours and grumble about your minimum raise — go out and get feedback from your supervisor or co-workers about what you can do to get better. That initiative alone should make a positive impression on your boss!

Get a degree (or get another degree). What’s the difference between a dental hygienist, a general dentist, and a prosthodontist? If you answered “money,” you’re correct — but the other answer is “education.” Add the necessary degree to your credentials and you could turn an entry-level job into an upper-echelon career.

Obtaining a business degree, for example, can vault you up the career ladder considerably faster than any school of hard knocks. Better yet, you may be able to continue your education without even setting foot in a physical classroom. Many people pursue that business degree online to take advantage of flexible scheduling, which means that they can keep working full-time while building a more secure and exciting future for themselves.

A degree can help you stand out from the crowd.

Moving ahead in your present career can prove at least as rewarding as a lateral shift toward a different career, without forcing you to start over from the bottom again or putting you on the unemployment line. Give it a try — you may be astonished at how lucrative and enjoyable your line of work becomes!

William Reynolds has worked as a freelance copywriter since 1997. William specializes in website content, ghost-blogging, print marketing content and audio/video scripts.


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