You have started at the ground floor of a company that you love. After the first couple of weeks, you notice that you really want to stay here long term and settle down to figure out the next step. What is the next step?
Many employees believe that the best way to make a career advancement is through finding a job with a title they are pursuing. Good pay. Extra benefits. GREAT! But is it?
Staying within a company you know and love while pursuing a career advancement is a logical and attainable goal. Many employees have this desire, but few really know how to pursue that and achieve that, in the least amount of time.
Here is a way to determine if and how you can grow within your current company, or when to make the switch:
Communicate Your Career Goals: One of the biggest mistakes current employees make is that they don’t communicate their career goals to their managers. Finding the correct career path within a company is not always the job of managers. In fact, many of them are so happy to have an engaged employee that they may think you’re happy exactly where you are, when in actuality, you’re making a good impression in the hopes to be considered for the next advancement position. Take a moment to ask your direct manager for time to discuss career advancement goals with them and ensure you both are on the path to success.
Take Charge: Find ways to showcase your leadership skills without overpowering others. Within your job, you can find ways to take charge of projects, events, or even a leadership role with others to showcase your leadership skills. Remember to not step on others’ toes, as you are navigating this area, meaning don’t take over someone else’s job that should clearly be leading a certain initiative. Finding ways to take charge in many different aspects of your job is important. This also means taking ownership over wins and losses.
Check-in Throughout the Year: If you do not have regularly scheduled quarterly meetings, schedule a few throughout the year with your boss to update them on where you are, where you are going and how they think you are performing. Prepare and document things you have accomplished and prepare to present areas that you wish to achieve later in the year. As you are moving throughout the year, make sure to document where you are with your goals, to show how you are moving forward.
Apply for Openings: Know when your company is hiring and feel comfortable talking to your manager about applying for the job. You’ll want their recommendation in the process and do not want to catch them off guard when they learn you have applied. You want them on your team.
Continue Learning: If you know your advancement position will need additional learning, take the time to learn now so you can be hired when the time is right. Find ways to also learn to advance your current position.
Be Irreplaceable: Find ways to tailor your job to your specific capabilities and skill sets. If you are better in graphic design or research, then find ways to bring these strong suits into the job you are performing.
One of the best indicators of being promoted is whether or not your current job has a next step you are willing to take. Make sure you know the career path to get to where you want to be. If this path requires you to take a sales job or move into an assistant role, are you willing to take those steps? If the career path does not match your desired job, then you will need to make a lateral or vertical move to another department or company when you are ready.