Paul Lewis shares his top five tips for planning and advancing on your career path

In a post-pandemic world, the job market is incredibly competitive. However, knowing what steps to take can help you better plan your career path. Here are my five top tips for advancing your career in 2022:

1. Identify Your Goals

Setting out goals will help trigger new behaviours, guide your focus, and sustain that momentum you need when climbing the career ladder. Start by deciding which role you want to pursue, then list what you want to accomplish within this career by making a long-term career plan. Establish your significant goals. For example, if you wish to develop your leadership skills: What are the smaller steps required to achieve this? Could it be improving how you communicate or organising your time? 61% of people who took a course or diploma with Pitman Training reported that they did so because they want a better job or promotion. Think about what you need to do to ensure you stand out from the crowd.

2. Work Hard and Work Smart

There is no denying that to be successful at anything in life, it is crucial to work hard. However, that does not mean working ridiculously long hours, juggling multiple projects or sacrificing family time. It means putting effort, determination and focus into your work. But how do you work smarter? Focus on just one task at a time; giving all your attention to one task will help you improve your work and increase your speed. Take short breaks throughout the day. Without breaks, our brains get tired, and we get distracted easily. Block smaller tasks together to improve your productivity. For example, instead of answering every email as it comes in, schedule blocks of time throughout the day to check and respond to your emails. Set meetings back-to-back and then block time on your calendar for activities that require thought and concentration like research, writing or brainstorming.

3. Align Your Efforts with Your Company’s Goals

If you are looking for a promotion within your current company, ensure that everything you do benefits the company’s goals or fits the company’s values. Every business has inefficiencies and problems. Think about how you can align your work to solve issues and benefit your business. Team members who constantly review their tasks and priorities to align with the company’s current strategies, goals and values are the employees that managers know will directly contribute to the company’s success. As a result, they will be more inclined to promote you up through the ranks.

4. Upskill Yourself and Become an Expert

Often, when a manager is looking to hire or promote, they look for the employees that know there is always room for growth and improvement. One of the best ways to demonstrate this is by actively seeking out ways to learn at work. When you commit to self-improvement by upskilling or taking a course in your spare time, it shows your employer that you have the dedication and ambition needed to take the next step in your career. Taking an adult education course to benefit your skillset can help you increase your chances of getting a promotion and achieving your goals.

5. Network Wisely

Across every industry, the importance of professional connections remains the same. Whether you work for a trendy tech start-up or an established corporate giant, who you know is vitally important. The relationships you build throughout your career have the potential to carry you to the top of your field – and faster than with skills alone. Building relationships and gaining the trust of your team and company can give you more opportunities to show off those skills you already possess. Also, remember, you don’t get what you don’t ask for. So, establishing a relationship can make it easier to ask for a promotion. Building professional relationships over time can help make you more confident when approaching your hiring manager or your executive looking to gain a promotion.

It is no secret that many people hope to score a promotion this year, so following these tips will put you in good stead for advancing your career in 2022.

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Paul Lewis is the MD at Pitman Training, a leading independent training provider, offering world-class office and IT skills in modern training centres to thousands of students across the UK and around the world. As a management franchise, Pitman Training ... (Read More)

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