25 June, 2009


Getting Ahead - Developing Your Career

Whatever career or job avenue you follow there are ways to be successful. This does not necessarily mean making up to your boss or stitching up your colleagues. Sound strategic behaviour and a sensible approach is often all that is needed to succeed. There is no harm in wanting to do well. We all strive to provide the best possible quality of life for our families and ourselves. This is not just doing well at work, and requires developing a healthy balance between work, home and leisure. Here are some tips for the workplace.

man leaning forward laughing with woman

How to get ahead
Know your organisation and where it is going. No matter how busy your day job, look around and keep an eye on how you and your role fits into the bigger picture. Knowing how you fit into the whole system can give you good insight into others' roles and provide you with advantages at promotional interviews.

Identify your strengths - talk to friends and colleagues, use your appraisal reports and be open to what people say. If you lack knowledge or experience in some area, think creatively and consider how you can develop it.

Get a mentor or sponsor - we all have seniors, and these frequently have more experience, qualifications and knowledge than us… that's why they are senior. However, by developing a mentoring relationship you will be able to gain from their knowledge and experience, which may help you in the pursuit of further promotion.

group of people networkingStart networking - planning meetings etc may be tedious, but by attending you will have the opportunity to meet useful people you might not otherwise meet. It is important too to keep up to date on working practices and professional changes.

Build your network - keeping links and contacts in your sphere of business is always helpful. Consider all those with whom you have worked over recent years and where they are now and whether or not there may be benefits in renewing the contacts.

Get more exposure - high profile projects and public initiatives that bring you into contact with executives and senior managers will help you develop your "legend", as long as the project is successful.

taking notesTalk to head hunters - they may not be looking at you, but seeking information on someone else, however keeping them as part of your network may mean you are their target next time.

Be philosophical - there will be knock-backs... life is life. Remember the more successful you are as you rise, the tougher the competition will be.

Get feedback - always ask for feedback as this will help you develop and understand where you need to work at things.

Take charge - no one will do this for you. If you want to develop your career... if you want a promotion... it's largely up to you! No one will carry you up the ladder, although a sponsor or mentor may encourage your promotion.

balance of money and home

Keeping the Balance
You've read this article and that suggests that you may wish to develop your career. It is also logical to assume that you are married or in a long term relationship, or will be at some point. Remember that your career can be a source of satisfaction as well as money, but your relationships and family are more likely sources of happiness. Consider this when you try to strike a balance between work and home.

info More Information: Skills for Life - Back to Work

info More Information: Parenting - Coping with the Work - Home Balance

info More Information: Skills for Life - Coping with Stress

info More Information: Education

website Web site: BBC Radio One - Careers Advice

website Web site: Life Long Learning - career Development Loans

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