MileStones

Growing in Your Career

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I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” – Michael Scott

Ever feel like you’re stuck on your current rung of the corporate ladder? Maybe you’ve been in the same position for a while and are looking to increase your skills, responsibilities, experience, or salary.... Maybe you’re ready for a change, or maybe just a change in approach? What moves can you make? Let’s look at some options that can get you movin’ on up. 

This doesn’t have to be you! 


Set Your Goals

What does success look like to you? For some it means the C-Suite, reaching the executive level or earning clear recognition in their field. For others, it is making a meaningful difference in others’ lives, working towards mission driven initiatives, achieving a specific target, or crafting a certain lifestyle. Whatever it looks like for you, the first step toward success involves defining your goals and setting out on a  path to get there.


Sharpen Your Skills as an Employee

A powerful approach to broadening your options and likelihood of achieving your goals can include taking the time to further develop the qualities valued by employers. Working on improving your “soft skills,” such as communication, writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities will help you advance in your role. Making progress in these areas can be as simple as looking at the leaders in your organization and observing how they handle conflict, management and prioritization of tasks.


Recognizing the skills you want to improve and observing the behaviors of those around you can provide valuable insights. If you’re looking to become better at communication, pay attention to the format and style of emails you receive from your co-workers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! People will often be pleased that you recognized their strengths and will be happy to help you increase your own.

Nurture Your Network

It takes an army, as they say. No matter what your goals, you need the support of those around you to help you along the way. Whether you’re reaching out for a mentor, for feedback, for recommendations, you can utilize your existing network and find ways to connect with others and expand your reach. Seek out contacts that work in your target field or position and talk to them about their roles. The more you can find out and learn from others now, the better you can prepare yourself for pursuing your chosen path.

Advance Your Education

Choosing to go back to school could have a significant impact on your career. Whether it’s completing your degree, pursuing an advanced degree, or taking career-specific courses, advancing your education can help you advance. Workers across industries are noticing that in order to stay on top of changing trends, they need to continue learning and developing new skills throughout their careers. Fifty-four percent of adults say they will need to pursue future training in their fields to “keep up with the changes in the workplace.” 


There are financial factors to consider when deciding to pursue educational goals. Time, costs, potential earnings are all things to keep in mind when deciding which route is best for you. If you determine you are ready, advancing your education can be a powerful way to show that you are taking ownership of your career and are a lifelong learner, all signals to employers that investing further in you will likely reap positive returns for their business. 


Kudos to you for taking the initiative to expand your skills and experience! Some of these steps are simple and you can start on them tomorrow. Others you’ll consider over the coming months and years. Either way, taking small steps over time will result in big changes and progression towards your goals.

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