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Whether you are new to your chosen career or have years of experience, there are small actions you can take in your workweek to keep moving forward in your career. Little by little, these incremental actions create a big impact. If you are looking to put solid, introspective work into your career progression, you will catapult to success. 

 

It is imperative to think about your dream and the vision for your own life and career. You need to think of it in its entirety. You cannot distinguish between your personal and professional life because you only have one life and need to define your goals and ambitions. These may change over time, and that is perfectly fine. But without goals, nothing can be achieved. So, if you want career growth, you may want to consider the following:

Make a list of the things you want to accomplish. When there seems to be an insurmountable number of tasks at hand, making lists helps you stay focused and accomplish more than you thought possible. To advance your career, you should list what you want to achieve next year and categorize what you have already achieved. You will not remember all your victories, so commit to writing them down. This valuable practice reminds you of the skills you offer when it comes time to ask for a raise or start a new job. 

Put in writing your mission, vision, and goals. If you write something down, there is a 100% chance it will get done. Write your personal mission statement, and if necessary, write a “stop doing” list to break bad habits. Set three goals: the secret to getting on top of time management is setting three goals for the year, the quarter, the month, the week, and the day. Doing this will keep you focused on what is important.

Challenging yourself is a great way to build the skills and reputation that get you noticed. Many people want career growth because they feel bored or stagnated. Reach out to people in other departments of your company or experts and influencers in your line of work. Offer to buy them coffee to get to know them. Work on your writing skills. Being able to articulate your thoughts and ideas in a way that is clear and well-received is a vital skill. Speak up at meetings. Even your thoughts are going to be met with disagreement. It still demonstrates that you care and are trying to move things forward. 

Continually acquiring new knowledge is another way to advance your career. Stay on top of trends or developments in your field and make sure that your current resume reflects those needed skills. Take specific actions to improve your skills. Look for opportunities for training. Read books. Read blogs. Try to learn new skills and practice them as much as you can in your current job. Maybe watch a TED Talk during lunch or between meetings. And remember what Mikhail Gorbachev said: “If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.”

Build your interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills play a critical role in gaining the respect of your boss, co-workers, and others in the industry. They will also attract the notice of outside influencers who might open new doors of opportunity for you. Be friendly, outgoing, and personable. Listen carefully to people, and practice being a clear and effective communicator. This will help you strengthen your personal network. Through conferences and professional associations, you will meet people in your field who may offer valuable insight into your career. Making more people aware of your skills, abilities, and strengths creates more opportunities for you.

Strengthen your personal network by attending industry conferences. Also, joining a professional association in your field of choice is a great way to tap into a career network. Meeting people who work in your prospective field can give you valuable insight into what life is like in that career. Gather information by gathering contacts. The more people aware of your strengths and abilities, the better your chances of hearing about new opportunities. Doing this will also help you build your reputation. A benefit of building your reputation is that you also build trust

Develop mentoring relationships, either inside or outside of your company. Mentors are also excellent sources of information and career guidance. The perfect mentor works well with you and has the experience and success you seek. At the same time, think about how you can help someone else. Do some volunteer work. Explore possible career tracks within your network through volunteer activities. Volunteering teaches you about yourself and your world while preparing you for the future and connecting you to your community. Of course, you could always mentor someone else with your experience.

Stay curious about your company.  Even if you have worked for your organization for years, the business is likely evolving. Ask a lot of questions–about everything. Learn how things work that are out of your area of expertise. See what new initiatives are underway or what new employees you should meet. 

Often, you need only commit to little things that you can do in just a few minutes to make the biggest impact on your career. Despite what many believe, you do not need to take on a massive project or commit to a major life change. As you accrue little wins, you position yourself for more significant victories down the line.

Career management is a must if you expect to gain maximum success and happiness from the hours you invest in work. You are likely going to work 40 hours a week for your entire adult life, and by managing your career effectively, you can make the best of those 40 hours. Developing your talents and skills will stretch your world and enable more of your unique contribution. By doing this, you can achieve career success, and in turn–thrive.

 

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