Five simple steps to advance your career

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Advancing your career and moving through the ranks into your ideal job requires commitment and dedication.

If you’re scratching your head wondering how to get started it’s worth sitting down to create a high-level plan to identify tactics for success. We’ve put together five key tips to help you on your way.

Get your personal branding sorted

In much the same way as corporate giants like Coca Cola have established a brand that’s highly recognisable, it’s your job to apply a brand strategy to yourself (albeit in a much smaller manner). This is about how others perceive you and whether this marries up with how you want to be perceived.  For example, if you want your brand to be ‘professional, polished, whip smart and tech savvy’, then your resume, work and social media profiles need to reflect that. Additionally, any kind of communication with a potential employer needs to reflect your brand so make sure that all your emails and cover letters are aligned.

Be your own publicist

Self-promotion is most effective when you’ve got your personal branding nailed down. Take ownership for your career and make sure that your employer knows what your goals are. Check in with them regularly to identify opportunities and be ready to step up. If you’re in the market for a new job, then self-promotion may include pitching yourself to prospective employers and meeting with recruitment agencies. Make sure you’re professional and respectful – particularly if you’re looking to leave your current role – be discreet and make sure any potential employers know you’ve reached out in confidence.

Join a professional organisation

Find out what professional organisations operate in your area and consider joining. This is a great way to meet like-minded people and potential employers. Many professional organisations also have courses and seminars that support career advancement and some offer opportunities to mentor those just starting out in the industry.

Exceed expectations

Consider your performance in your current role and identify how you can exceed expectations.  This is about going above and beyond, whether it’s identifying ways to work more effectively, or better preparing for meetings and pitching ideas. Standing out as an employee who goes the extra mile will help propel your career and ensure you’re visible. It’s also a good way to build a reputation for excellence.

Build on your skills and knowledge

It doesn’t matter how much you know or how long you’ve been in a job, there’s always more to learn. Consider your goals against your skillset – is there anything you’re missing? And what are your weaknesses? Talk to your employer about opportunities for learning and investigate external courses that will help move your career forward.

Finally, once you have your strategy nailed down – be sure to check it regularly and update progress, goals, and plans. A good strategy can help you navigate any roadblocks and keep you on track for success.

Filed under: Career Advice Resources
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