Everyone has dreams, aspirations, and ideas of what they want in a career. Perhaps your goal is to land your dream job. Maybe it’s to work your way up the ladder or earn the hefty salary you deserve. Or you want to enjoy more flexibility and find the perfect work-life balance. Ready to become your own boss and begin your own corporate business? Looking for shipping work?
Regardless of your endgame, there are some steps you’ll need to take to get there.
If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, keep reading. Here are five powerful ways to grow in your career.
1. Find A Mentor
A mentor can be an invaluable asset to your career.
A mentor can show you the ropes of the business or industry. They can guide you into taking the steps needed to advance. They can be a sounding board when you’re frustrated with your work, your boss, or your own abilities.
Find a mentor early on in your career, and you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. From personal development to professional success, a mentor can guide you every step of the way.
A mentor can be a boss, a seasoned professional in your industry, or someone who’s just one rung above you on the corporate ladder. The trick is to find a mentor that you actually connect with, enjoy spending time with, and trust. That way, you’ll always feel comfortable reaching out to them with questions and concerns.
2. Set Goals (And Reach Them)
It’s good to have dreams, but dreams alone won’t get you to where you need to be. Instead of dreaming about what you want to get out of your career, create actual goals. The difference between dreams and goals is that goals require that you have an action plan.
The best way to get ahead in your career is to set goals and meet them. It’s even better if you can exceed your own expectations. Beating your expectations is a great way to remind yourself of a critical component of success — knowing that the sky’s the limit!
Depending on your career and job level, your boss may set goals for you. But if they don’t, set them for yourself.
Learn to hold yourself accountable. Review your performance regularly to make sure you’re hitting your personal targets.
Even if your boss doesn’t expect much of you, you’ll be a much more valuable employee by meeting and/or smashing your personal goals. Why? Because employers want result-oriented employees.
If you show results, they’re sure to take notice.
3. Improve On Your Soft Skills
Soft skills refer to leadership, flexibility, the ability to listen, and being a team player. And while your job may need you to have a lot of technical skills, soft skills are things you can’t necessarily teach someone.
They’re crucial skills to have, regardless of what type of job you have or career goals you’ve set your mind to.
Soft skills are essential in every work scenario. You can take these skills from job to job, no matter how the company works or what software they use.
And if you reach a point in life where you decide to change careers, soft skills can help you land a new job in a brand new field.
It’s never too early or too late to start learning and honing your soft skills. Develop them by offering to manage a particular project or team.
Show your willingness to try new things and that you know how to be flexible and adaptable. Learn to be proactive by coming up with problem-solving solutions as soon as you see new issues arise.
Don’t forget to incorporate your soft skills into your resume and showcase them in job interviews. The more actionable steps you take to perfect your soft skills, the easier it will be to highlight them.
4. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
Challenging yourself is the best way to grow, both personally and professionally. So make it a point to get outside your comfort zone, try new things, and be willing to listen and learn from those who know more than you.
If you love your current job, offer to take on new projects, or become the point person on a new multi-department effort. If you hate your job, it’s time to challenge yourself by looking for a new employer or a new career altogether.
Some people spend ten or twenty years at the same job yet are miserable every moment of every day. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap! Instead, take the leap now to find a new job that’s more rewarding and more personally fulfilling.
5. Grow Your Network
Networking isn’t just a buzzword. It’s an essential part of career development and professional growth.
Make a point to connect with and socialize with people you don’t already know.
Attend networking events. Sign up for volunteering opportunities sponsored by your company or other companies in your industry. Attend conferences and seminars. The more you expose yourself to people in your industry, the more opportunities you’re likely to find when it comes time to search out a new job.
You can also network online.
Build strong relationships through LinkedIn. Connect with your connections’ connections. Reach out to people you’ve never even met in person. With a professional profile and a friendly demeanor, you can network without ever having to leave your home!
If you want to grow in your career, there are five things you need to do:
- Find a mentor
- Set goals for yourself
- Improve your soft skills
- Challenge yourself
- Build your network
It can take decades to reach the point in your career that makes you happy and provides you the salary you know you deserve. So start now. Taking a few of these steps today means you’ll be that much closer to achieving your goals and reaching those dreams.
Angus Flynn has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. His ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to his residents and prospects has propelled him in a successful career that now finds him leading the team at Turtle Creek.