How To Grow Within a Company
When looking for a job, you’ve likely considered not only the perks of the position at hand, but also the opportunity for advancement within the company. Career progression is a major goal of many employees, but with only so many leadership roles available within an organization, you’ll need to stand out if you want to work your way up.
Advancement doesn’t just happen automatically, and may not happen even by following the recommended steps of earning an MBA or working hard and asking for a promotion, either. You may need to be more proactive in pursuing the job you want, and make the extra effort to discover the right moves to get there. Here are some tips for planning your path and proving your worth to advance your career.
Set Goals and Plan Your Path
Long-term planning is critical to successful career progression. When you are new to the job, it may be best to focus your efforts on day-to-day tasks. As you become more skilled and more productive over time, however, you can devote more attention to looking down the road. You should set goals for yourself and outline a plan to reach them. Here are some examples of goals you might strive to achieve:
- Higher salary;
- Equity or ownership in the company;
- Increased employer contribution to retirement funds;
- More time off or more flexible hours;
- Ability to work remotely;
- Learning new skills;
- Expand your professional network;
- Greater variety or challenge in your work;
- More influence and responsibility in a leadership role.
Once you’ve decided what you want for your career, it’s time to develop the rest of your strategy. You may not know all the necessary steps at first, but that’s OK. The following methods will help reveal everything that’s required to succeed.
Discuss Your Goals With Your Manager
To advance within your company, it’s important to keep communication open with your managers and supervisors. They are the ones with the ability to help you reach your goals, but they can’t help without knowing what your goals are. Your bosses can also tell you what management skills you need to learn as part of your plan.
Although it may feel like those above you are the barriers or competitors to the job you want, it’s important to see them as allies rather than adversaries. Even if the job you want is already occupied, there is the possibility that someone else could move up and leave a position open, or that the company could expand and add a new leadership role. If you aren’t in active communication with your higher-ups about your interests, then those opportunities could quickly pass before you have the chance to capitalize on them.
Continue Your Education
Continued education can be a crucial step in progressing your career. For example, if you already hold a bachelor’s degree in your area of expertise, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree may then be required for company management positions. Depending on your field and your job interests, you may consider a more specialized degree like a Master of Science in Digital Marketing Analytics or a Master of Science in HR Management, just to name a few.
An academic degree is not always necessary, however, as every industry has its range of professional certifications that can be obtained with non-degree coursework or occupational training. These typically require less time and money investment than a full degree program. Discussion with your higher-ups along with industry research will reveal which credentials may be necessary for you to reach your goals.
Ask for More Responsibility
To show you are prepared to move into a higher position, you should prove that you can take on increased responsibility and excel. Look for opportunities within your current role to contribute above and beyond, or simply ask what needs to be done and how you can help. This will demonstrate your value and your drive to succeed. Additionally, once you’ve communicated with your managers about your goals for advancement, you can ask them what abilities they’d like to see you demonstrate, then you can work on improving in those areas specifically.
Collaborate With Coworkers Frequently
Working collaboratively will not only demonstrate your job skills to management, but can greatly benefit your growth in the workplace and in your personal life. For example, frequent collaboration with colleagues will develop your interpersonal skills that are valuable both on and off the job. From a professional standpoint, these people skills will help you expand your network of connections within your company and in the greater industry.
Additional Benefits of Career Development
All of these steps to career advancement require strong motivation along with a long-range view of success. If you still aren’t sure about going the extra mile for a chance at a promotion down the line, you should consider some additional benefits that can come from your efforts.
As you work toward advancing your career, you will learn new skills and gain experiences that make you better at your current job. Even before you achieve a new position, you’ll be able to do your work with higher productivity and confidence that your colleagues and bosses are likely to notice.
Many of the steps you take in career development can be added to your resume, making a showcase of success to potential employers. Your accomplishments should already be evident to your present employer, but you must consider the possibility of applying for jobs elsewhere. It may be that your career path needs to take a turn to reach your goals.
In case another ideal position comes along, it’s important to have a strong resume ready to present. Credentials like an MBA degree will certainly help you stand out, but you can also cite demonstrated successes like collaboration and project outcomes on your resume, all of which will make you more competitive.
Career mobility is about having options for moving not only upward within your company, but also laterally to a job you may find more satisfactory, or to a different company altogether. Even if you focus your development on one particular leadership role, many of the skills you gain will be generally transferable, and you may discover a new opportunity along the way.
In today’s global jobs market there is a lot of competition for desirable positions, but that also means a lot of opportunities for you to find mobility. You can enter any interview with confidence knowing that your competencies, collaborations, and professional networks have prepared you well. When you can showcase all of this experience effectively, you’ll be able to leverage your value as an employee and win the job you want.
© 2022 Montclair State University | All Rights Reserved