I work with a lot of people who are ready to move ahead with their careers.  They want the promotion and the next position that’s come open.  They come to me wondering why they’ve gotten passed by, disappointed, frustrated or downright angry they aren’t sitting in a new seat.

Here’s what I’ve learned from my clients.  You may not need any of these tips at all.

Tip 1:  Tell your supervisor.  Think about what position you’d like to have.  Write down your career goals.  Sit with your supervisor and be specific about what you want.  Even if it’s their job that you want, seek their advice on what steps you need to take.

Tip 2:  Take on more.  I know you already have a full plate.  Work with your supervisor to  to be assigned to projects that will get you exposure and experience.  Ask for assignments to strengthen your skills.

Sub-tip:  Volunteer.  Look for opportunities to hone your leadership skills.  There are many organizations looking for help.  It could be an one time event/project or something on-going.  Get involved and you’ll be helping others as well as yourself.  You could meet your next employer!

Tip 3:  Training.  Have you stopped learning?  Keep yourself sharp.  Look for classes and seminars that are interesting to you.  Even if your company won’t foot the bill, negotiate with your supervisor for a “free” day (non-vacation day) if you pay for the seminar.  Invest in yourself.  If you won’t, who will?

Sub-tip:  Business books and articles keep you fresh!  Google away to find resources to suit your needs.  Check the library – it’s free.  Under my resource tab, above you’ll find some of my favorites.

Tip 4:  Look beyond.  There may be opportunities that are with another company.  Are there people you admire in a position you’d like to see yourself in?  Call them up and take them to lunch or interview them over the phone.  Find out what path they took to get such a position.

Tip 5:  PLAN AHEAD.  There is no Fairy Godmother.  Gone are the days others take an interest in you and your career.  If you wait until the opportunity is upon you, it could be too late.  You’re competing with others who have PLANNED AHEAD.
Do you have any other advice?  Anything that’s worked for you?  Leave a comment below so everyone can benefit from your experience.

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