Advancing Your Career

Business Man Jumping Hurdles

Advancement of your career is solely your responsibility. Unfortunately, to many people the prospect of career advancement occurs only when searching for a new job. This lack of foresight prevents them from doing the groundwork necessary to later ensure maximum success when the time comes to change positions.

Start with your own workplace. As your current duties permit, request additional responsibilities that will increase your own skills, knowledge of your workplace and the value of your contribution. Be careful not to overextend yourself, however. It is of primary importance that you maintain high standards when completing your original duties as well as your new responsibilities. Shoddy work negates the purpose of taking on the new responsibilities.

Take classes for self-improvement. Classes present an opportunity to learn or brush up on skills you don't currently use on the job but may require later. You can also use this opportunity to keep abreast of developments within your industry. Many companies even reimburse employees part or all of their tuition and books. Check with your Human Resources department for details on your own company’s policy.

Research available jobs now. Again, most people only research job availability when they are ready to move. Going through the "Help Wanted" section of your newspaper every week and checking your company’s job posting board or cyber-surfing jobs on the Internet on a regular basis are good ideas, as you retain knowledge of average pay scales and the kinds of positions which are in demand. And, of course, you never know when the perfect job will turn up. Don't miss it!

Network, Network, and Network. On average, only about 10 percent of any company’s jobs ever make it to the help wanted or job posting boards. That means a full ninety percent are being filled through less obvious means. Don't limit your search to your own abilities. Ask friends, family, coworkers and anyone else who can help to keep their ears open on a regular basis. Return the favor to them in their jobs, and voila, you have a network.

Above all, remember the job you get is directly proportional to the time you invested to find it.

And, of course, you never know when the perfect job will turn up. Don't miss it!


March 2011

by The American Management Association (AMA), ASME’s Affinity Partner