A lot of people want the formula for career success and advancement.
Should you just work hard? Should you be proactive? What are the steps to take?
Taking a proactive approach to your career advancement is taking tangible action steps towards your career goals. Some common examples of this include:
- Taking on strategic projects
- Working with a mentor
- Gaining confidence and developing self-awareness
- Building rapport with your boss and others
- Learning new skills
These are, of course, all excellent things to do. Mentorship, for example, has many benefits for both mentors and mentees in the workplace.
But do they bring career advancement? Will you get the promotion or raise just by taking a proactive approach and checking things off this list?
In my experience, there’s more to it than that.
There’s a better approach to career advancement that goes beyond a proactive approach.
More Than a Proactive Approach
Let’s compare your career advancement journey to getting some food.
When you’re hungry, you’ll start looking for something to eat. Maybe you want to go out for dinner, so you look for a restaurant online, choose one, plug it into your GPS, drive there, and then go sit down.
Those are all proactive steps towards fulfilling your hunger.
But is it enough? No! You need to order something from the menu and tell it to your server, or you’ll never get something to eat. Or, if you leave it up to the server to decide, you’ll get something random that you might not like.
You need to tell your server exactly what you want and how you want it prepared.
Similarly, you need to approach career advancement in the same way. You take the proactive approach to have a good attitude and be good in your job, but you ultimately need to ask for what you want.
Use a Direct Approach
Proactive steps might result in your boss giving you new projects or work, but they won’t know exactly what you want. They won’t be able to give you the promotion or advancement opportunity you desire.
So, instead of a proactive approach, take a direct approach.
A direct approach to your career advancement includes:
- Knowing your career goals and desires
- Communicating those with your boss or manager
- Providing a clear plan on how you will get there
- Advocating for yourself based on your future value to the company
The last piece is so important. You need to build a case for career advancement based on the future value you provide to the company and how you’ll help them grow. This approach gains respect from your boss by being invested in the company’s success.
If you don’t directly speak up about advancement opportunities you want, you may feel like there are no opportunities. And this is one of the top reasons people leave their job; 63% of surveyed employees stated no opportunities for advancement was a reason they left their role.
So, it’s better to speak up directly and determine if there truly is advancement opportunity for you, rather than leaving it up to chance. Take a direct approach and take control of your career.
Click on the video below to learn more….!
If this resonates with you, it’s time to start building your own promotion plan. Check out the My Promotion Plan masterclass, which is designed to help women move from passed over to promoted in the workplace. You’re just one plan away from your next career move—so what are you waiting for?