Advancing your career: What to consider
Advancing your career doesn’t just mean more money, it means more responsibility and it puts you in a position where you can really make an impact on the things you care about. If you have these ambitions, check out this handy guide to advancing your career by Undutchables Recruitment Agency.
When you start your career, there is plenty of scope to advance, whether you rise up the ranks at your company or build a name and reputation for yourself within your professional sphere. People can advance their career in many ways, it doesn’t just mean being promoted to higher positions. For instance, freelancers can advance their careers through building an audience and growing their reputation, yet this is not always easy. If you have found that your career has stagnated, or you haven’t reached the heights you know you can achieve, maybe it’s time to take a different approach.
What is career advancement and why does it matter?
In a nutshell, career advancement is the process of achieving higher roles within your profession. For a lot of people, this means promotion to a role within their company with more responsibility and authority, or even being headhunted for a better role at a different business or company. However, it can mean different things in different professions – freelancers typically advance in their career after growing an audience and being commissioned to work for a company; as their profile grows, the more companies look to employ them.
So, why does career advancement matter? The most obvious benefit is more money. As you advance through the ranks, higher positions are offered more compensation. This increased salary might also come hand-in-hand with other benefits, such as healthcare, insurance and retirement plans. More money isn’t the only reason why people look to advance their careers, however, as higher positions also give you access to better resources and experience that can help you achieve your own personal goals and ambitions.
Moreover, career advancement also brings recognition of your skills and abilities. For many people, being the best at what they do is a driving ambition and career advancement is one way to be recognised as such.
How does one facilitate career advancement?
While a lot can be said for loyalty to one company, many do reward those who have worked at a single company for a long time with promotions or more responsibilities. However, there are a few things you might want to consider to help facilitate, and even hasten, your career advancement.
Education and training
One of the best ways to ensure a steady career advancement is through education. A lot of careers these days are only accessible with a bachelor’s degree, whilst other jobs might even require a higher-level degree such as a master's or a doctorate. Higher education doesn’t just help you get into a career, it also helps you whilst you are working by developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as arming you with the specific knowledge you’ll need to succeed in your career.
Education isn’t just about working towards a degree at a university or college. There are actually plenty of educational institutions that help prepare their students for specific careers or jobs. For instance, people can attend Hogescholen to study in a more practical manner in professions such as engineering, design or IT, or they could attend a business school, in order to study for an MBA or management course.
One should be aware that education isn’t the only way to prepare yourself for a career. There are plenty of opportunities to attend training courses or apprenticeships for specific professions. Such training courses can be followed in your free time or on the job. Training courses can cover a vast range of subjects and professions, for example, if you are an expat working in the Netherlands you might take a Dutch language course or, if you’re an editor working in online media, you might take a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) course.
Experience and skills
Experience and skills tend to go hand-in-hand. Many advanced jobs will require a certain level of experience, usually around three years, in a specific profession. This is because many of these advanced roles require a certain level of understanding and specific skills that are acquired through working in a specific industry. Thus, it might not be a bad idea to look for more advanced roles in bigger companies or businesses after you have worked in a certain industry or sector for a few years.
Five habits to advance your career
Here are five habits that will help you not only advance, but thrive in your chosen career.
Set goals / know your mission
Trying to accomplish your greatest ambitions straight away is a sure-fire way of overwhelming yourself and potentially burning out. It's a good idea to have a clear goal of where you ultimately want your career to take you but set yourself smaller, more manageable tasks that you can accomplish to help you achieve your ultimate ambition.
Gain new knowledge and skills
This one goes without saying. If you want to succeed in whatever you do, making sure you are constantly learning and improving your skill set will allow you to find new ways to tackle difficult tasks and accomplish what you want to achieve.
As the old saying goes: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Networking is a very important tool when it comes to advancing your career. In fact, around a third of job seekers find job opportunities through professional connections. Knowing the right people in the industry or sector you want to work in will ultimately prove very beneficial, not just for advancing your career but also just in general as it can help boost your confidence in social settings and leads to the exchanging of ideas between professionals.
There are plenty of opportunities to network in the modern world. One of the easiest and most convenient ways is through platforms like LinkedIn, although the best way to meet fellow, like-minded professionals is through trade shows and business expos.
Taking a jump outside your comfort zone might feel daunting, but it will do wonders for your career. By challenging yourself, you are learning how to take on difficult tasks you might not have managed before and complete them. This demonstrates a sense of intuition and independence; key skills you will need to advance your career. By getting comfortable in difficult situations, you also put yourself in the best possible stead in dealing with the difficulties of leadership.
If you want to reach a certain level within a company, or take your career to its next heights, who is the best person to guide you? The person who has already reached those levels themselves! So, find a mentor in your network. They can provide you with invaluable insights into the profession and industry you want to work in, as well as guide you through the best practices and advise you in difficult situations.
So, armed with this knowledge, you’re now ready to start your dream career and work your way to the top! Looking for a new career to get started with? Undutchables Recruitment Agency specialises in the recruitment of internationals in the Netherlands – find your dream career now!