Having a paying job is really a responsibility of every functioning adult but having a career is something that’s reserved only for those that are the most ambitious and the most capable of them. You see, a job is something that you do in order to sustain your current lifestyle, but career often implies that you do more than is asked or even expected of you. Therefore, it requires an immense amount of willpower. It also requires long-term strategy, seeing as how some advancements may take years to achieve. All in all, here are six tips for turning your job into a career.
1.Be honest when evaluating yourself
The most important thing for you to be able to advance is to have a realistic image of where you are at the moment. You need to evaluate yourself. To do this, you need to try being objective and unbiased, even role-play being your own employer. For this to work, you also need to include some figures and facts, be specific about what you’re evaluating, as well as what is acceptable and unacceptable. Finally, you need to rationalize the results that you get. If you’ve achieved a major success, try to explain why it happened. If you’re not as effective in other areas, try to figure out why? This will also show you whether you’re dealing with a real, specific problem or if it’s just a fluke.
2. Set some goals to achieve
We’re not talking about major goals like getting a promotion or a raise. Sometimes reaching a new skill bar can be just as important. For instance, getting a promotion is something that will take years, which means that you’ll not have a way of knowing whether you’re advancing or not until you get there. Nonetheless, if you decide to improve a certain skill, like learn a new language (or improve one that you already know), master a new work-specific tool and hone your already existent abilities, you’ll be well on your way to your next promotion.
3. Take charge of your own education
Unless your employer is grooming you to assume a certain position, they won’t be sending you on courses and seminars on their own. This is quite problematic, seeing as how top-notch education is quite expensive. Still, it’s one of the expenses that are just worth taking no matter what. This is why, you need to look for numerous top-notch online courses and seminars available in your area which you could attend. As for funding them, having a savings account that’s meant for this purpose is always a good idea. If not, you could look for providers of personal loans online and apply in order to secure your funding.
4. Don’t be afraid to change employment
Smaller companies can give you a perfect learning opportunity but they might limit your potential. This is why, when the time is right, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek employment in a bigger company. This is hardly anything unusual, seeing as how the average person changes jobs about 12 times in their lifetime. You must, nonetheless, be aware of the fact that a bigger company means greater competition, which means that your career path might become a lot more complex than it was before. Moreover, your ability to adapt to change is always important.
5. Always walk that extra mile
In order to be able to demand a promotion or at least feel like you’ve earned it, you need to make sure that you’re doing more than just your job. Always be there to volunteer for extra work, if you notice a problem try to solve it even if it’s not your job and, more importantly, try to improve business processes whenever you can. This is the most important thing for every entrepreneur and something that they value above anything else. If you can figure out a way to save your employer money or get things done in a faster/safer manner, you’ll get that promotion and a raise in no time. In fact, this is the single most important trait for all those who want to turn their job into a career.
6. Practice your people skills
The truth is that your advancement may depend on how other people perceive you, ranging from your coworkers and direct supervisors, all the way to your boss. For this, you need to command charisma, which is just a fancy way of saying that you need to give people that you’re speaking to your full attention. Second, you need to start remembering what people are saying and bringing that up next time in a conversation. This way, you’ll show them that you’re really interested in what they’re saying. Also, your gestures and other means of non-verbal communication are also an indicator that you really like a person. In turn, this person might start liking you, as well.
At the end of the day turning your job into a career takes more than just your decision. It takes your willingness to change your lifestyle and commit to a major project. Also, it’s something that takes decades and may take more sacrifice than you’re willing to make. On the other hand, however, it’s more than worth it.