You’ve been feeling like you’re stuck in a rut career wise and maybe you’ve been awaiting that long overdue promotion. So how do you move your career forward? We have some suggestions on how you might start to work on your own personal development and start to take action.
Our first suggestion is to write a Career Development Plan. This is a process that consists of defining what is important to you, what you want to achieve, what strengths you already have that help to achieve your goals, and what you need to improve and develop with time.
Setting your goals
Starting with your goals, decide what is really important to you? In which direction would you like to take your career and what do you need to do to take that first step? Which new skills do you want to acquire?
Once you have written a list of goals, take a good look and select the most important one to start working on first. If you have a goal but don’t know when you want to achieve it, chances are it will never happen. When planning, you need to realistic and specific. Rather than saying “ I want to be a Quality Manager one day”, it’s better to plan set a goal of up skilling or networking and give yourself a timeframe.
So how long will it take you to achieve your goal? Once you have a realistic timeframe, it’s important to commit achieving that goal. Be serious about it. If you are not taking your plan seriously, nobody else will either.
If your goal is to move on to the next stage in your career you will have to learn new skills. You may have gained plenty of on the job experience and you might think you are ready to be promoted but there might be something holding you back. Which skills or knowledge will help you to achieve your goal?
Write down a list of the skills you need to develop and set out a plan of action.
Write down at least 4 of the most important actions you will need to take. We have listed four actions that you might consider when devising your Career Development Plan but there are many more.
1. Add value to your organisation:
It goes without saying that one of the best ways to succeed in getting a promotion is to expand your knowledge and skills in areas which are critical to the organisation. DHIQC offer a Diploma which not only expands your knowledge but it also allows you to become the consultant in your organisation. The nine unit Diploma doubles up as a TQM Implementation Plan. Students can start to increase their value within their organisation by rolling out a real life TQM Implementation plan. It will show your interest and desire to help your organisation succeed and puts a spotlight on your value in the organisation. The Diploma contains a number of tools to reduce costs and make the organisation money. If someone is making money (by saving money), they’ll be promoted.
2.Sell yourself: Let it be known that you are seeking a promotion. Keep your boss updated with your progress and your successes on a regular basis.
3.Create your own opportunities: Study the needs and challenges of the organisation. If you find an area that has been neglected and you have those skills write a proposal for a new position.
4.Networking: The more people you know the better. Networking will allow you to learn much more about the company you work for. Make a name for yourself at the conferences you attend and the speeches you give.
If you want to progress in your career is there someone who can support you inside or outside of the work environment, a Manager or the HR Department? Make a list of those people who might be able to support that goal. One recent study found that in four out of five promotions, those promoted had a mentoring relationship with someone higher in the company who helped spread the good word about them. Some companies have formal mentoring programs, but even if your company does not, there are still ways you can build relationships with people in higher positions in the company.
Measure your progress
It’s important to recognise progress as this is the best motivator and it will keep you moving forward. Periodically review your progress and reward yourself for each little step.
Change of mindset and stay positive
After all this hard work and action taking there’s always a chance that the company might not be in a position to offer a promotion for many reasons. Keep positive, you have shown initiative, creativity and value to the organisation and these things will help you the next time you request a promotion. Exercises such as the Career Development Plan are very powerful and great ways to define what’s really important to you and give you more clarity about goals.