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How To Take The Next Step In Your Career

How To Take The Next Step In Your Career

There might come a time in your career when you feel you’re ready to take the next step. This might be moving up to management level, for example. It could be moving to a new company or perhaps it is time you started a career in something entirely new. You might even want to start your own business. Everyone’s idea of the next step in their career will be different, but the ways it can be taken will be universal. With that in mind, read on to find out how to take the next step in your career and head towards success. 

Reflect On Your Goals 

Everyone should have goals in life. Without them, you’ll never really have a sense of where you are heading or why, and you’ll never truly feel successful because you’ll never achieve your objectives. So it’s a good idea to make some goals that relate to all aspects of your life and include your career as well. 

Man looking out window

When you feel you’re ready to take the next step in your career, you should look at the professional development objectives you originally had and see how far you have come. Have you achieved everything you set out to do? Is advancement the only thing left for you to do? If so, you’re ready to move on. If, however, there are still things you want to do where you are now, it’s a good idea to work on those. Not only will you gain more confidence and a sense of achievement, ensuring you can move on happily, but you’ll also gain more skills and experience, which will help you when you are applying for your next role. 

Define ‘Next’

Choosing what you want to do next can be the most important part of making a decision. Sometimes the next step right above your job is not necessarily the best place for you to go.

If you don't want to be the team manager, think about what you would rather do. You might want to move laterally into a job with more responsibilities. You might only want to keep a certain job title for a certain amount of time so you can meet the requirements for something else.

There are times when moving up is not the only way for an employee to grow. You should always think about whether leaving your current job could be a step up. There are a lot of ways to move up in your career, and not all of them involve becoming a manager or even staying in the same career you're in now. Sometimes your skills can be transferable, and you might be able to do something that aligns more with your passions using the knowledge you have gained so far in an entirely different area. 

Before you start looking for new jobs, you need to know this variable, no matter what "next" means to you. Nothing is worse than getting a job that sounds great on paper but isn't a good fit for you or your long-term career goals. Be careful about moving up just because it's the first way you see to get ahead.

Build Your Network

Have you ever heard the phrase it’s not what you know but who you know? Although it’s not one hundred percent accurate – getting your next job and moving up in your career will require good knowledge and plenty of skills, of course – knowing people who might be able to point you in the right direction is certainly no bad thing. 

The more you can build your network, the more chance there will be of someone being to help you with the next step of your career. You might find a mentor, for example. This is a great idea, as a mentor will be able to guide you in the right direction and answer any questions you might have – after all, they will already have been where you are and they are more than likely at the level you want to reach. Taking their advice and discussing your ideas with them is a great option. 

Building your network will also ensure you are open to a lot more opportunities than you would have been otherwise. This means you’ll hear about positions that might be perfect for you and have the chance to apply for the job. You’re not guaranteed to be successful, but it’s far better to try than never to have the chance in the first place because your network didn’t keep you informed. 

People walking in Crosswalk Photo by Sora Shimazaki

Man looking out window Photo by RODNAE Productions

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Dave Gardner

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