When considering or undertaking a career transition, certain steps can help ensure your success while helping you advance your career. Today we’ll explore five more great tips for developing skills and successfully advancing your career.
Investigate Career Change
Many people start their careers in one profession and then change directions completely. Take an assessment of your transferable skills as well as your likes and dislikes. Determine where your skills are considered valuable and investigate how to move into that profession. Typically, this requires retooling some skills and building new professional networks. It may even require that you take a dip in your pay rate, but in the long-term job satisfaction may be what you are seeking, not necessarily a bigger paycheck.
Consider Geographic Mobility
Many employees find themselves rooted firmly in their communities and fail to even consider geographic moves. However, if others aren’t willing to jump on this opportunity, perhaps it is a good option for you. In many cases a geographic move will enable you to take on higher levels of leadership or, in other words, to scale the career ladder at a faster pace. It gives you an opportunity to learn how to master a change in environment, a change in community, and to make a name for yourself as “willing and able.”
Seek Professional Development
Take some time to examine the various skills you want to learn and develop. Know that as you progress to higher level organizational roles, you’ll need a broader base of skills. Typically, these include strategic planning, human resource planning, operational forecasting, business modeling, contract negotiation, and/or logistics management. Find out where and how you can learn these skills and seek out professional certification where appropriate.
Build a Unique Network
Reach out beyond your professional network and build a broader base of professional relationships. Take on a volunteer leadership role where you can learn and apply higher-level skills, get a deeper breadth of experience, and become known for your accomplishments. This also enables you to become a “known entity” in a totally different environment and will often lead to other job opportunities.
Explore Larger Employers
There are numerous large employers that have offices worldwide and offer opportunities to individuals interested in career mobility. In today’s global world, these are prized opportunities to experience different cultures and different ways of approaching business. Check out these organizations and their opportunities, and don’t be afraid to go for it!
The old world career path where employees were able to stay with one company for 30 years is long gone. People are simply more mobile today, and they deliberately look for opportunities to learn and grow. At the same time, a rule of thumb is that it takes at least one year or more to become proficient in any new job, and therefore individuals need to stay for a reasonable period of time. For most people, this time frame is approximately 4-5 years. The key to success is to always focus on ensuring your skills, communication style and personal motivators are the right match for your position so you create a more satisfying career.