Getting ahead in your chosen career isn't always easy but it can be easier than you think provided you have the right training and backup for you to a
Getting ahead in your chosen career isn’t always easy but it can be easier than you think provided you have the right training and backup for you to advance successfully up the ladder.
When you start out at work you could be forgiven for being amazed how the business you have joined runs. Whether you start straight out of high school, have a college or university qualification or some hands-on work experience in another or similar business operation, it can be pretty daunting to start with.
You need to learn what your employer needs from you, though the interview process should have given you a sound knowledge base, and then you need to think about how you want to progress. Remember, you got the job because the company believed you had the skill set to succeed, but most companies like to see their employees develop new skills and work their way into a management role.
If you don’t take advantage of new training possibilities then you could well be stuck in a job that you initially enjoyed but that will become boring and repetitive. You’ll be working for the most part a 35 to 40-hour day or more for the rest of your adult life, so it pays to take every opportunity to learn and move onwards and upwards.
Developing your career
Perhaps the most important thing to do in any new job is to look and listen so you build up a clear understanding of how the business operates. When you know exactly how you fit in it allows you to look at other things within the company that you would like to do.
It’s important to be self-aware at this stage. Make a list of your skills and attributes. For example, you could be a whizz at writing or spreadsheets but not that good on face-to-face communication with co-workers and bosses. Examine your strengths and weaknesses and start to map out your goals.
You’re going to need help; everyone does. Ask if you can job shadow other employees so you can learn about the different jobs in the company, and enquire if you can have a mentor from a different department who will assist you with identifying potential career development opportunities.
It would be nice if you gained automatic promotions just because you are good at your job, but it doesn’t always happen like that so you have to help yourself. You’ll also find out that the more you move up the company ladder the fewer openings there are, so you should work to grow your skills and experience not just to add value to your employer’s business but also to your own career. After all, you may well not spend the rest of your working life in one place, so adding to your skills, especially where they are transferable, is a very wise move.
Training for the future
Training covers a multitude of options, and if you think about you’ve been training since you first went to school. You learn to read and write, do math and then a whole range of other things to begin to equip you with the skills for life and, later, the workplace.
Whatever skills you bring to your career at the beginning can, and should, be built on. There are many options to explore, and many companies encourage and support employees to develop their skills and add new ones with schemes that allow you to attend college, perhaps one day a week or in a block of time. Employers know they will benefit from your newly acquired knowledge.
If that isn’t possible then are many online courses that can improve your current skills and equip you with new ones. The Knowledge Academy courses offer opportunities to learn about project management, especially useful for the construction and IT industries, together with other IT and technical courses that you can then apply to your working environment.
Employers appreciate staff who demonstrate that they are improving their skills, are always interested in what’s happening, can make suggestions for ways to carry out certain processes more effectively, and are productive workers with good communication skills.
Not everything suits everybody but if you keep a keen eye out for training opportunities there’s every likelihood you career will progress as you would like.
Look to your future
Constant improvement of your skills through training will help you build up a bank of experience that will stand both you and your employer in good stead. And you’ll be helping to secure you’re own future career prospects wherever you decide to work.