It’s miserable to go to work and feel like a hamster on a wheel, doing the same things every day and not getting anywhere. And it’s frustrating to have been at a job for for what feels like forever without a promotion, or worse, to see that there’s no promotional path in front of you at all. If you’ve done any realistic thinking about it you know that no one but yourself is going to get you out of that rut. So, with a new year coming up, it’s time to reassess your situation and do something smart about it.
It could be that you’ve been wrong about opportunities for advancement where you are, or maybe it’s time to face facts and just get out there to find new options, but taking these steps will give you the tools you need and the confidence to use them in your quest:
Get More Education
While you’re working in your current job, plan ahead for your next career move by earning an MBA online. You’ll be broadening your scope of knowledge, enhancing your skill set, and gaining new insight into effective communication, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving. In addition to what it will do for you personally, having an MBA on your resume will put you in line for the promotions and other opportunities that have been there but that you haven’t been qualified for. It’s a worthwhile investment in yourself and your future.
Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
Make a record of all the successes you’ve had in your current position in terms of sales figures, project results, or whatever metrics apply to the work you do. It will boost your self esteem, which never hurts, but its real purpose is to create a record of the value you’ve brought to your employer, and it will be important tool whether you’re ultimately going to present it to someone in your current company or to HR somewhere else. Results are what people look for when they’re considering promoting career opportunities or hiring someone.
Toot Your Own Horn
Don’t be shy about letting people know what you can do. To compete in a business environment, you’ve got to overcome whatever reluctance you might have about bragging about yourself once in a while. You just don’t want to be quite that obvious about it so that it crosses the line into unattractive boastfulness. It’s all in the way you present it. You might want to say something like “Did you know that I was the one who came up with the idea for that project? Let me tell you how we did it… “ That way, you’re simply sharing information that happens to make you look good.
Be a Team Player
Even if you feel more comfortable or even think you do better work by yourself, recognize that in a lot of situations teams are the thing these days, so it’s to your advantage to be good at working as a member of one. Brush up on how to listen, how to collaborate, how to share your expertise, how to ask for help if you need it, and how to build consensus. If you’re not sure how to do all that, observe how others do it. Follow through on your part of the group effort, and if you can volunteer to do more without impinging on anyone else’s part of the work, do it.
Keep up on what current trends are in your industry and in the specific work that you do, as well as what’s going on in your own organization from top to bottom. Read trade magazines and make sure you’re aware of outside and global events that can impact your field. Knowledge is power.
Find a Mentor
Progressing and succeeding in a career can be a lot easier with someone to guide you, give you feedback, and serve as a source of inspiration. Finding a mentor can be as simple as approaching your boss and letting him or her know that you’ve prepared yourself for more responsibility and asking for advice on how you can make it happen. Be ready with examples of ideas you have that will help the organization. Any good boss will appreciate that attitude and want to see you do well, encourage you, and sign on to assisting you along the way.