It is estimated that the average person spends a majority of their time per week at work, much more than that spent with their own family and friends and participating in fun hobbies. Add to this the creeping up of the retirement age as people’s lifespans lengthen and you will see that a large proportion of your life is spent in the workplace. As such, it is important that you forge a fulfilling career that mentally stimulates you so that you enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work. However, it is all too easy to get stuck in a career rut and find yourself simply going through the motions for the sake of your monthly paycheck. If this is the case for you, be reassured that, by taking a few steps, you can reinvigorate your career and create a job you love doing. Here is how you can advance your career in five steps.
- Go for promotion
If you are gradually finding that your current role no longer stimulates you or engages your mental faculties, this might be a sign that you have developed beyond your current position and are now ready to take the next step in your career and go for promotion. If you know exactly the career path you want to take, and what the next job along is, you can start to investigate potential job openings for you to apply for to advance in your career. Networking sites such as LinkedIn or an industry magazine and recruitment agency are good places to regularly check for new job postings. Alternatively, if you would like to advance in your career within the same company, you could organize a meeting with your line manager or recruitment department to discuss your career options. Doing this will signal to your company that you are keen and committed to the company and in advancing your career, enabling them to help you on your way by suggesting further training and career development programs you can take in order to increase your likelihood of winning a promotion.
- Pursue further education
Learning is a life-long process—it doesn’t simply end on your high school or college graduation day. If you are keen to take the next step in your career, you should consider returning to college to further your education with a higher degree. Indeed, you might be following a career path that requires a specific higher education degree in order to progress; for example, if you currently work as a registered nurse but would like to specialize in a particular area of medicine, you will need to gain a master of science degree. However, higher degree programs are always beneficial even if they are not a requirement for your specific career, as they prove that you have the dedication and are committed to self-improvement and advancing your knowledge and skillset. When looking for a degree program, it can be worthwhile thinking outside the box so that you stand out from other applicants with a diverse skillset. For instance, a masters in education will equip you with the required skills and knowledge to contribute to the learning and education of your colleagues, through for example, in-house mentoring and training programs, which will help to make you a valuable and unique member of your team.
- Get involved in mentoring
Mentoring is a mutually beneficial arrangement from which you will always reap the rewards, whether as a mentor or mentee. You may benefit from being on either side of this relationship at different stages of your career. A mentor who is an experienced industry professional and already works in your dream role can nurture you and provide you with the in-depth skills and experience necessary to enable you to excel in your dream position. Some industries and companies have formal mentorship programs that have been developed to truly help you to grow as an employee. On the other side of the coin, you might be at a particular high point in your career and now feel that the time is right to give back to your industry with your knowledge and experience, and decide to become a mentor to a colleague who is at the exciting start of their career.
- Stop wasting your mornings
Many people find it difficult to wake up in the mornings, particularly if they have had a late night following a particularly hectic day. However, research suggests that the mornings are when you are at the height of productivity and mental alertness before fatigue hits later on in the day. If you would like to reap these benefits, it is possible to train yourself into becoming a morning person and to stop wasting your mornings. Aim to arrive at the office at least an hour before the rest of your colleagues and dedicate this time to completing focused tasks from your to-do list. Without the distractions of a noisy office and other people’s demands on your time, you will be amazed at how much high-quality work you can achieve, and you’ll soon look forward to your focused early morning work sessions. Furthermore, by completing more tasks earlier in the day, you may be able to leave the office earlier than usual, helping you to achieve an improved work–life balance.
- Get into networking
Humans are by nature sociable creatures, and this sociability also applies to the workplace,which can help to build important connections. Simply put, networking is socializing with other industry professionals with the aim of establishing mutually beneficial relationships that can help your career. A social network aimed at business professionals, such as LinkedIn, can be used to build your network online and connect with others across the globe. You should also make an effort to attend networking events for your industry throughout the year, such as conferences, sales events, and trade shows. This way, you will keep in touch with your colleagues to swap industry news and strengthen your relationships.