Are you ambitious, hardworking, and determined to make it to the top of your career? Regardless of whether you have just started out or whether you have already racked up several years’ worth of experience, these are some sure-fire tips to help fast-track your career to success right away.
Be Aware of Your Strengths
When you are fully aware of your strengths and what sets you apart from others in your field, you will be able to put those to better use. For example, perhaps you are more detail-oriented than your colleagues and can pick up on potential errors that could cause issues long before they become evident to everyone else. Or maybe you simply have a knack for working faster without sacrificing on quality. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what your strengths are — just that you know how to use them.
Master Your Strengths
Once you are aware of what makes you stand out from the crowd, it’s important that you work on enhancing those qualities even further. The more that you are able to stand out, the higher your chances of progressing to the next stage of your career in the fastest time possible.
Develop and Hone Your Skills
You will require a special and unique set of skills, depending on the career path that you have chosen. Usually, you will have the opportunity to develop and hone these through your studies. Having said that, learning and improving should never come to an end once you graduate and are awarded your degree. On the contrary, it should remain a priority throughout your professional life.
Luckily, there are many different ways to develop and hone your skills following graduation:
- Find a mentor: This is a sure-fire approach to rapidly progressing in your career. A mentor can introduce you to a host of new skills and boost your knowledge significantly. He or she could also play an important role in helping you determine where you want your career path to take you. This can prove helpful if you know that you want to specialize but have not quite made up your mind in terms of what you want your area to be.
- Be curious: Incurable curiosity is an essential ingredient to a successful professional. Without curiosity and drive, it is highly likely that you will find yourself stagnating, often both in your work life and in your personal life, too.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Many professionals will become ‘too proud’ to ask questions, even in a situation when they feel unsure about something. There is no such thing as ‘stupid’ question. Ask away!
Know Where You Want to Be
You cannot fast-track your career if you are not certain of where you want it to take you! As you rack up years of experience within your industry, continue asking yourself those important questions:
- What do I want from my career?
- Where do I see myself in 10 or 20 years from now?
- What is my ultimate career goal?
If you are unable to answer these questions, it might point to a need for some time out and some intensive self-reflection before pushing forward once again. Remember, your job should bring you plenty of joy and satisfaction. If it does not, it’s a good idea to consider a career change.
Openly Communicate Your Career Goals
Once you are certain of where you want your vocation to take you, and you feel confident in the career goals that you have set for yourself, it is important to communicate them out loud. Not only should you speak about them with your family and loved ones, but you should also approach your superiors and ask to have a one-on-one conversation regarding your future in the company.
By informing your superiors of your goals, you will dramatically increase your chances of making your way to where you want to be, as well as getting there faster and more efficiently. If you require resources or mentorship in order to reach your goals, your superiors will often be extremely accommodating and provide guidance and/or financial support.
Furthermore, by communicating your vision and signaling that you intend to grow alongside the company, your superiors will be more inclined to put effort and money into helping you develop. It will, after all, benefit the company as much as it will benefit you in the long run. Most business owners make it a top priority to hold onto ambitious talent with all of their might.
Further Your Education
Thanks to the introduction of new technology, it is easier and more convenient than ever before to further your education. This is due to the fact that those who are already working full-time or part-time jobs now have the opportunity to embrace online learning.
There are countless world-class online colleges and universities in the United States, and all over the globe, for that matter. Kettering University Online, for example, is focused on graduate programs and online certificate programs with a specialization in postgraduate engineering degrees.
Online university students stand to benefit from flexibility, more one-on-one attention, and reliable support, which is often accessible 24/7. Plus, the more impressive your education and credentials are, the better your chances of getting promoted or being granted a raise.
Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
This is a mantra that all professionals should live by! When you under-promise and then over-deliver, you set yourself up to constantly exceed expectations. Obviously, this is certain to work in your favor the next time your boss is looking to give somebody new responsibilities or a more senior position in the company.
Keep it Professional
There is no getting away from the fact that every workplace comes with its own office politics. A good general rule of thumb is to stay out of it as far as it is humanly possible. Steer clear of office gossip, avoid office romances, and, most importantly, ensure that you are aware of the office hierarchy to avoid stepping on any toes along the way.
Networking is at the core of career success for practically every single professional in every single industry. Along with networking with colleagues and superiors from within the company you currently work, it is also imperative that you attempt to build and nurture relationships with other experts from outside of your workplace.
It is quite easy to meet others working in your industry by attending relevant events, joining industry groups and organizations, and using social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to your advantage.
The reasons for networking are endless as it makes it possible for you to:
- Exchange ideas and knowledge with others in your line of work
- Learn more about the scope of work available in your area of expertise
- Find out how you measure up against other people in your profession
- Be the first to hear about potential job opportunities for which you may be well suited
Be a Leader
Nobody is going to remember the person who sat in the corner and kept to themselves no matter how hard they happened to work. As such, it’s always a good idea to step forward as a leader or, at the very least, as someone with an opinion and something to say. In doing so, you will be likely to receive respect and trust from both your colleagues and your superiors.
If you find it challenging to speak in large groups or are introverted by nature, there is nothing wrong with approaching people individually when you feel the need to share an idea or a suggestion.
Along with working your own way up the ladder of success, it is just as important for you to help others do the same. Mentoring younger professionals and ensuring that you come across as a team player can help you to make a bigger, noticeable impact on the powers that be. Ultimately, while your superiors will be able to appreciate the ambition, they will appreciate loyalty and dedication to the greater good of the company a whole lot more!
Put in the Work
At the end of the day, there is no substitute for hard work and dedication. There are plenty of other ways in which to stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression on your superiors. However, if you cannot back all of that up with the fact that you are one of the most diligent and conscientious employees they have, the chances of progressing in your career are slim. So, don’t forget to put in the work and to put in as much of it as you possibly can. It will all be worth it one day when you realize that you’ve ‘made it’ and have achieved all that you set out to in the beginning.
Stay focused, stay motivated, and keep going. Refer back to the aforementioned advice whenever you need a pick-me-up or some guidance, and you’ll be well on your way to truly making a name for yourself within your industry or area of specialization.