A dream career isn’t typically something you fall into from the get-go. Instead, it tends to take plenty of steps, sometimes missteps, experience, and learning along the way. For many people who are feeling bored or uninspired in their current career, this can be a huge sign that it’s time to take things to the next level. If you aren’t feeling challenged or fulfilled, it can be hard to stay motivated. Let’s examine some of the ways you can take your career to the next level and move closer to reaching your goals.
1. Head Back to School
Although it may not be what you had in mind, one of the best ways to take your career to the next level is to expand your portfolio of knowledge, education, and skills. Heading back to school and expanding on your existing education can open all kinds of doors that were previously closed. One great option is a master’s in business management which can be completed online through Aston University. With this kind of programme, you can also choose your path so that you are better prepared to level up in your career. You may wish to focus on global business, entrepreneurship, organization development, or finance to name a few. It comes down to what your career goals are.
2. Speak to Your Boss
Employees often make the mistake of assuming that because their career goals are clear to them, they must also be clear to their boss. This isn’t necessarily true. Unless you have communicated your plans and aspirations, your boss can’t possibly know what your goals are.
This may be a great opportunity to schedule a meeting with your supervisor, manager, or HR representative to discuss future opportunities. Let them know what your thoughts are and ask how you can make that a reality. Perhaps you need more experience, maybe there is additional skills/programme you need to learn, courses you have to sign up for, and so forth. It’s a great way to create an action plan for your future. At the same time, this will let your employer know that you are serious about your job and you want to put in the effort to climb the ladder.
3. Make an Effort to Network
Networking is one of those things that most people understand the importance of, but don’t necessarily enjoy doing. It can be intimidating to speak to strangers and try to make new contacts. The best advice is to put those fears and doubts aside, go into any networking opportunity with a positive and confident attitude and meet as many people as possible. You never know what contact may lead to a job opportunity down the road.
Some of the best places for networking include:
- Alumni events
- Professional associations/organisations
- Organised networking events
- Trade shows
- Professional development courses
Of course, there are plenty of other spots that can be perfect too, but this is a great list to start with.
4. Find a Mentor
This particular tip can tie into networking, as this may be the best way to find a mentor. A mentor is someone you can talk to, bounce ideas off, ask questions, shadow, and learn from. Ideally, it is someone in the industry you have your sights set on, or in a position that you eventually want to be in.
A mentor shouldn’t just be someone you speak to while taking your career to the next level; instead, it’s a professional relationship that you will be able to count on for the rest of your working years. This means putting time and effort into it.
5. Ensure Your CV is Professional
Did you know that your CV can also play a huge part in whether or not you take your career to the next level? Even if you have all the necessary skills and experience, if you aren’t communicating the information properly on your CV, you may get overlooked.
There are professional CV writing services that can help, or you may want to have a friend or mentor look over what you’ve written down. Be sure to ask for constructive criticism, as they may spot issues you didn’t notice.
Below are some tips to remember when writing a professional CV:
- Make your CV short and to the point, ideally two pages
- Your name and contact information should be at the top of the first page, clearly visible, ideally in a different font style and/size
- Include a cover letter since it needs to be personalised to each job you apply to – don’t just use a standard copy
- Make sure your objective statement is clear and grabs attention
- Proofread it multiple times
- Never elaborate, all information needs to be honest
- List any professional achievements that are relevant to the job
- Always use action verbs to grab attention
6. Learn How to Embrace Risk
This particular tip can cause a lot of stress for some people, especially those who are naturally averse to risks of any kind. The fact is that working your way up the career ladder and achieving your goals is going to involve a little risk-taking. They don’t have to be giant risks; they can be small, calculated risks that you can feel a bit more comfortable with. As the saying goes, nothing worth having comes easy and you can apply that to your career.
Typically, the earlier you are in your career, the easier and more important the risks will be. It gets a little trickier as you work your way up, and that’s when more thought and assessing will be necessary.
If you’re having a hard time taking a risk, experts tend to recommend you start with small ones. Take small steps, watch your results start to add up and this can encourage you to take bigger risks.
By using each of these tips, building your confidence, and learning what it is that makes you happy, you’ll be able to take your career to the next level of fulfillment and success.