You may be starting your first graduate position, or you may have been in the same position for the past decade, or you may be somewhere in between. Wherever you are on the career ladder, there’s nothing wrong with always being on the lookout for new promotional opportunities. It can be tough when you have become stuck in a job rut. Your role may feel safe and secure, you can do the job with your eyes closed and your hands tied behind your back and the money is nothing to be sniffed at. However, you might enjoy very little job satisfaction, there’s no challenge in your current role, and you are permanently bored. While you understand the fortunate position you are in work-wise having a job that is well paid and being with a company that values your contribution, you are on the lookout for something more.
If you’re keen to leap up onto the next rung of the career ladder, you’ll need to master the art of achieving a promotion. Take a look at these simple ways you can enhance your career prospects.
Broaden Your Experience
If you have had the same position for over five years, any new potential employer may view your resume and feel like you may be at risk of being stuck in your ways. Five years in one job, especially within the creative industries, is deemed a long time. Before you consider seeking out a promotion, think about taking on more responsibility within your current role. Do anything that will broaden your experience and help you learn new key skills that could be transferable to a new role. If you can begin to manage other individuals within your current position, this is ideal as many employers seek candidates with leadership skills.
Even better would be to seek new employment as a side step rather than as a promotion. You may attend interviews for a management position only to keep hearing the same feedback; another candidate had broader experience across a range of roles. This may be the catalyst you need to change jobs. Even if you keep the same role, you can experience a new sector or enjoy working in a different environment with a new team. This will enhance your promotion prospects immeasurably.
A key part of your resume will be the section under relevant training and professional qualifications. If you last completed any sort of professional development in the early noughties, you need to think about clueing yourself up on more recent industry practices. If you work in the IT sector, consider enrolling in a change management course to learn about the new methodologies of business change. If you are seeking a management position within the construction industry, investigate how to start your online OSHA training courses and ensure that you have your finger on the pulse of all relevant and recent sector-specific legislation.
In the twenty-first century, the world of work moves fast as new software programs, management techniques and methodologies are introduced to streamline functions. It’s vital that you are aware and become an expert in your niche. This way, you can show off your credentials at interview and demonstrate how you can be an asset to any company.
If you have recently taken on extra responsibility at work in an effort to get noticed and seek out an internal promotion, you should also think about looking outside your current place of work too. While you may love your colleagues and feel like it would be too much of a wrench to leave your current company, sometimes you need to step outside your comfort zone to reap the optimum rewards.
When off-site and attending conferences and external events, make sure you remain professional at all times and start networking. Put the feelers out and see if any rivals within your industry are scouting for new talent. While it may feel a little odd trying to sound out company rivals, you will also be able to make important contacts industry-wide. The old adage of it’s not what you know but who you know still holds true in the world of business. If you put it out there that you are looking for new job opportunities and a rival company knows how good you are at your role, you may find yourself being headhunted rather than having to endure a frustrating and arduous recruitment process.
If you find yourself invited for an interview, you have done the hard part. The company you applied to likes your resume, thinks you have the potential to do the role well and now wants to meet you face to face. If you haven’t had an interview for a decade or more, it’s vital that you take part in a mock interview or at least head online and try and research the sorts of questions you might be asked. Try to stick to a STAR formula to structure your answers focusing on the Situation, Task, Action and Result of any scenario you describe. This ensures you don’t waffle, go off on a tangent or forget what the interviewer was even asking.
Interviews are nerve-wracking, but you must try and ooze confidence, smile and show off a sprinkling of personality. At the same time you need to vet your potential new employer and work out if the role, environment and culture are somewhere you could see yourself spending forty hours a week. Ask questions, try and have a two way dialogue and attempt to enjoy the experience. If you are unsuccessful, ask for feedback, act upon it and continue your hunt for promotion. It’s very rare that you will receive a job offer from the first role you apply for.
Seeking a promotion can be tough and won’t happen overnight. You may have to hone your resume, take some time out to undertake relevant training and get used to job hunting once again. Follow this advice, and you could find yourself in your dream role sooner than you think.