There are very few careers that offer a very clear-cut advancement. Those who work in healthcare, for example, have very strict qualification requirements and are experiencing a shortage in every country in the world. For other industries, however, that clear-cut pathway does not exist. Building up and on your career is a matter of making the right choices, taking advantage of opportunities, and even making things happen for yourself. It’s a lot for any one person, especially when it’s easier and safer to stay the course and remain in the job that you are in.
This isn’t how you thrive, however. Taking chances is a part of life, but you don’t need to risk it all for nothing. With the right skill set, you can forge forward without a freefall. It’s all about knowing what’s available, and how to do it in a way that is most comfortable for you.
Your Top Options to Advance Your Career
There are a few ways you can advance your career. It’s important to note that you can always change your mind. If one option isn’t what you thought it would be, there are numerous career paths where you can take your skillset and excel.
- Executive-Level Positions
The most obvious option is to continue along in your current job path until you can work your way into managerial and then executive-level positions. This is best if you currently work for a company you are passionate about, and they have upward advancement options that appeal to you.
- New Career Path
If you are done with not just your employer, but with your field as a whole, then your best option will be to start a new career path. Don’t assume that this means starting from scratch, either. There are many great job options in any field that you can easily train for and apply to. If you want to switch to an entirely different industry, however, know that your existing experience and skill set can allow you to stand out amongst job candidates.
- Start Your Own Business
Start your own business and be your own boss. There are no limits to how you run and manage your business. A new, innovative approach can be just what your industry needs to get shaken up and to start reinventing itself once again.
- Work for Yourself
Rather than start a business, you can also work for yourself. Become a professional speaker. Start an online following. Become a freelancer or a consultant. Technically yes you will be starting a business in this sense, but rather than put a product or a service at the forefront, the selling point will be you and your expertise.
How to Get There
There are many options to help you reach your goals.
- Obtain an MBA
With the rise of online education you can earn, for example, a great UK MBA online in Canada without ever leaving home. Just make sure that the degree you are looking at it accredited, designed for online, and most importantly intended to be completed by working professionals. With the right degree, you can set yourself up for executive-level positions and start your own business through one resource. Not only will you have these skills, but you will also enter an international network of professionals that will continue to benefit you throughout your career.
- State Your Desires and Goals
To start, be vocal. People are not mind readers, so make it a habit to state your desires and your goals. People won’t just give you what you want, but if they know you are interested more opportunities may come your way because your co-worker thought of you, or your manager knows that you want to work your way into a new department or to become a manager yourself.
The key phrase here is to state your desires, not demand them. By stating them and putting in the work, you can make opportunities come your way.
Of course, if you find that even with this approach you are being passed over for promotions and denied opportunities even after putting in the work, the best option is to go back to the job board.
- Job Hunt Before You Quit
If you are being limited at your current place of work, then start to apply to the jobs you want. You don’t need to quit until you get something concrete, so you have that additional safety net in place. With this safety net, you won’t need to rush through the process, and can properly vet through the roles and the employers in question.
Tip: Remember that the best time to negotiate a pay rise is when you start a new job, so push for the salary that reflects your experience and skills the best.
- Network More Naturally
Networking is crucial to expanding your career opportunities, but not everyone finds networking natural. The best way to network more naturally is to go to events. Many of the same people will attend events relating to your industry, so you can meet them multiple times in a casual setting. Not only that, but as you are at an event you have a natural ice breaker to discuss about!
Follow each other on social media, not just LinkedIn, and you’ll have multiple opportunities to get to know each other and to connect.
- Work on Your Own Projects
Don’t give up your own passion projects. You can post them on job networking sites and source others who are interested in volunteering their time to help you out. You’ll find this happen when it comes to breaking into a difficult industry, or if you are working on something that will help charity or disadvantaged groups. People want to help and want to help showcase and develop their skills. So long as you aren’t making money on it at the moment, you can often get others to help you for free, too. If you earn money later on, of course, it’s a good idea to share in the profits!
- Solidify Your Business Plan
If your goal is to start a business, then get started with a business plan. Knowing what business model, suppliers, business type, and more before you start is smart. Not only will you be able to secure funding more easily, but you’ll be ready to start sprinting right from the gate!