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4 Tips For Moving Up the Career Path

October 31st, 2014
career ladderAdmins looking to move up the career ladder are making a mistake if they wait for the boss to invite them up the rungs.

There are any number of reasons you may be overlooked for a promotion, especially if it's into a new group or one that involves skills the boss isn't even aware you have. The most common reason, though, is you haven't made your desire known. And by that, we don't mean the times you've mentioned you'd like more responsibility. That might just get you put in charge of ordering all the supplies, or collecting time cards or something similar.

Instead of hinting or hoping for opportunities, here are four specific actions that will put you in charge of your career:
  1. First of all, know what you want and research how you get there. Be reasonable, even if your sights are set on reaching the top. As the saying goes, "A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step." What is the next step you can take' and what is the one after that, and after that? Monster offers several career planning tools including a very useful career mapping utility that will help you know what path others have taken to achieve the same goal.
  2. Take on tasks that are outside your specific job. You want to raise your visibility within the organization and build your internal network. Helping to plan a company event is a start. More valuable to you is volunteering to serve on a strategic planning group or participate in an interdepartmental project.
  3. Begin now. Don't wait until after the holidays or until the close of the quarter, or after the busy season. There is always something that will come up, which, if you let it, will keep you from moving forward. Make a list of four or five simple goals that you can start on today. These can be as simple as learning the basics of a new office program, PowerPoint, for instance. Or putting together a procedures book for your job.
  4. Let the boss know what you want. Once you've decided on your next step, communicate that specifically. Ask your supervisor what it will take for you to make that next step.  What additional skills do you need? What advice can she offer? Assuming you have a reasonable boss, with good management skills, having this conversation will let her know you're serious about your career and will make her your partner, if not a mentor, to help you move up that ladder.
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