Getting ahead in your career can sometimes be as natural as breathing, or it can feel like wading through waist-deep mud. It depends entirely on your opportunities and even your employer. Some employers, for example, support internal advancement and will do all they can to help you achieve your dreams within their company. This, in turn, improves employee retention, company culture, and, of course, productivity.
Not all employers are like this, however. Some might prefer to bring in new talent to benefit from a fresh set of eyes. Some might not have the budget to sponsor your education. Regardless of what opportunities are available to you, you need to advance your skillset and knowledge. It is essential to help you get ahead in your chosen career path, and it can also be crucial to help you lead a great life. To accomplish this, all you need to do is follow this guide.
Talk to Experts
Talking to experts you meet is a great way to gain advice that simply isn’t published online, from how they became a success to what future trends they think will take over the industry. Either way, there are few resources which are as valuable as an expert’s opinion, so if you have the chance, take full advantage of the opportunity.
Attend Networking Events
You can meet these experts in a variety of different settings. Even people you haven’t heard of before can have incredible insight and might even have career advancement opportunities for you if you can network well enough. Great places to network are:
- Industry Talks
- Trade Shows
Attend local events, and if there are international events that would be of interest to your employer, see if they would be willing to sponsor you attending. This way, you can enjoy the networking and learning opportunities without paying out of pocket for them.
Become a Thought Leader
By attending a lot of these different networking events, you will become well connected and well informed – two characteristics that would make any publications you put out valuable to those in your industry. Start a blog, a podcast, or even see if you can get articles published. Doing so will help get your name out there until you are an expert yourself.
If you want to combine knowledge with formal certification, then look no further than online. Today you don’t need to take time off from work, and you don’t even need to make do with what night school options are nearby. Now you can gain formal education from the top universities right at home in the form of:
1. Free Online Courses
Free online courses can help you round out your knowledge without any stress, as many are offered for free online. They are created by top universities around the world and can help you expand your understanding on your own time. The only downside is that they are not that valuable when looking for more advanced job roles.
2. Online Professional Degrees
If your dream job is barricaded by a qualification requirement, then there is little you can do aside from achieving the qualifications they are looking for. In business, for example, many companies will expect their top ranking employees to hold an MBA. If you do not yet have one, then your next goal will need to be to acquire a reputable MBA on your own. When it comes to choosing an MBA, you have several options. You can take time off work to achieve it, you can commit to night school, or you can open up your possibilities worldwide by learning online. With all these options, you are sure to find the right fit for you.
Show Initiative in Your Work
Finally, remember to show initiative in your workplace. Higher positions come with management roles in the job description, so if you show that you can take on more responsibilities and can successfully delegate tasks, then you will not just have the skills on paper but have demonstrated them to your managers as well. To show this initiative, you should:
- Ask for More Responsibilities
- Ask for Shadowing Opportunities
- Know Your Worth and Ask for Advancement
Getting ahead can feel like an ongoing challenge. Your efforts might not pay off in the company you work for now, but that’s okay. The only one stopping you from getting out there and applying for a higher-ranking position is yourself, so get the qualifications and get your dream job. It’s what you deserve for all your hard work and effort.