Are You Ambitious? How to Grow Your Career

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    How to grow your careerIf you’re feeling unchallenged in your present position or an urge to try something new, you may be ready for a promotion to the next level or a different assignment or a special project.

    Nowadays, it’s up to you to take control of your professional future. Here are nine tips to advance your career. Yes, it can be done in today’s uncertain economy. However, not all may work for you. So choose the ones that will be most effective in your present situation, with your boss and in line with your company’s directions.

    1. Talk to your boss.
    Sit down and have a very direct and pointed conversation with your boss about your future in the company. Stress that you want your job performance to meet the company’s goals. Share your own career goals with him or her.
    2. Ask for more.
    Volunteering to help out other departments or teams — or simply asking for more responsibilities — increases your value within the organization. Asking for additional work shows an interest and desire to help your department and company to succeed. It also puts a spotlight on your value to the business.
    3. Volunteer for boards.
    If you have your career set on something beyond what you are doing in your present position, seek out opportunities to volunteer or serve on advisory boards where you can build a reputation as someone who is passionate and dedicated to your particular industry.
    4. Sharpen your people skills.
    Strong interpersonal skills play a crucial role in attracting the notice of your boss, peers, upper management, even outside influencers who might open new doors of opportunity for you. Be friendly, outgoing, personable. Listen carefully to people and practice being a clear, effective communicator.
    5. Network. strategically.
    Strengthen your personal network and join professional organizations, attend industry conferences, or even volunteer. The more people who are aware of your strengths and abilities, the better your chances of hearing about any new opportunities that might arise.
    6. Sell yourself.
    Learn the fine art of self-promotion. If you have had major accomplishments or created successful programs, make sure people know about it — especially those in influential positions who could help you advance professionally. Let it be known that you are seeking a promotion or the next step up in your career.
    7. Be innovative.
    Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and put your business acumen to work. Stay on the lookout for creative solutions to problems that will make you —nd your boss — look good.
    8. Find a mentor.
    Develop mentoring relationships, either inside or outside the company. Recent studies have shown that four out of five promotions are influenced by a mentor higher up in the company. Mentors are also great sources of information and career guidance.
    9. Keep learning.
    A proven way to advance in your career is to be continually acquiring new knowledge. Stay on top of trends or developments in your field and make sure that your current resume reflects those needed skills.

    Career Success Tip:

    It’s okay to be ambitious. However, do what you need to do to advance your career, with integrity and concern for others. There is no win, no advantage, no victory worth a blemish on your credibility and reputation.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?