In a fast-paced world of rapidly evolving technology and superior skills, as a smart professional you should be aware of the importance of constantly updating your skills to remain ahead of the competition. To be able to snap up every career advancement opportunity that comes your way in a corporate world of outsourcing and the availability of global skills, you need to up your game from time to time.
You could be well established in your career or just entering the job market. But, without up-to-date skills and knowledge, you’ll soon find yourself lagging far behind the competition as younger and more skilled talent quickly moves up the corporate ladder.
According to the results of a survey sponsored by LinkedIn and Kaplan, 78% of workers feel the need to acquire new skills to maintain their positions in their companies. Further, 62% of baby boomers think that they are nearing the end of their career and must update their capabilities. If you’re a part of this group, you’ll need to work harder to hold your job and qualify for promotions and salary hikes. Here are some smart career advancement moves you must make.
Cutting-Edge Strategies for Career Advancement
1. Work with Your Boss or Enlist the Guidance of a Talent Recruiter
Your boss is the best person who can help you with advance your career by assigning you prestigious projects where you can showcase your skills and grow as a professional.
As Blackrock’s international head of talent management and development, Donnell Green recommends, “Don’t go it alone and give careful consideration to who is in your management chain. Work for people you respect, and get a good boss. I have built great relationships with my bosses and created value for them. Having the support of your manager can make or break a career.”
If not your boss, enlist the mentoring of the talent recruiter in the company. Use all the advice you can get on the newest qualifications and talents that the company is looking for. These directions will work as clues on the courses to take to advance your skills and consequently, your career. Mentors also provide you with guidance on how to tackle the snags you face during the course of your career and in-depth information that can keep you ahead of your peers.
2. Stay Aware of the Evolving Goals and Objectives of the Company
As your company grows and evolves, you must remain aware of the latest happenings and developments like innovative product launches, partnerships, widening marketing horizons, and so on. Keep an eye open for the positions and job openings that might become available. Prepare yourself as a possible candidate for those openings. Eventually, you’ll be able to prove that you are the best person to manage the new responsibilities and you’re likely to be picked up for the post.
3. Take Online Continuing Education Courses
Keep pace with the newest developments in the field where you work by taking courses and earning continuing education credits. Even if the courses are not directly related to the work you do for the company, each additional skill you learn can help you as a career advancement strategy. For instance, learn how to use software that the company is likely to adopt in the future. In case you’re using company-assigned devices, get your own equipment to learn and practice your newly-acquired skills. Invest in economical refurbished laptops, tablets, desktops, or any others so that you’re ready with the knowledge when the requirement comes up.
4. Read Up Everything You Can
Keep your finger on the pulse of the industry where your company functions. And, be aware of the latest trends and moves of the competition. Subscribe to industry magazines and read blogs and articles. Sooner or later, your company will follow the trends and you need to be prepared for the new developments. Your knowledge might also prove an asset when your company is ready to make transitions into the new economy. Attending conferences can also help you gain information and stay in touch with professionals working in fields similar to yours. Now that’s another smart career advancement strategy.
5. Make it a Point to Attend Workshops, Seminars, and Lectures
Most companies sponsor their employees’ attendance to workshops, lectures, and seminars so they can learn about the latest news and developments in the industry. Even if you’re not picked by the company, go for the events to advance your career. Equip yourself with all the information possible.
As CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi says, there should come a time when, “People should look at you and say, ‘You know on this particular issue, the only person who can answer it or contribute to it is Dan.'”
Instantly, you’ll gain respect as an authority figure in your particular field.
6. Use the Power of Networking
Sign up with professional social media sites like LinkedIn, Twylah, Opprtunity, VisualCV, Zerply, and AngelList to name a few. These sites offer you the channels to connect with the industry stalwarts and keep pace with their thought processes. Building connections and having conversations with industry leaders and like-minded professionals can give your career an amazing boost. Simply having a social media presence may open up avenues for better-paying jobs and more attractive salaries in other companies.
Upping your game and growing as a professional is an ongoing process. To remain competitive in today’s arena where new skills, talents, and capabilities are emerging quickly, you need to be constantly on your toes looking for strategies that can assist in you in snapping up all the career advancement opportunities that come your way.
Keep stagnation at bay and you’re sure to maintain your edge and remain successful in whatever sphere you work. 🙂