How do you advance in your career when there is no rung to take you to your next opportunity? The path to Career growth is not always clearly defined or neatly mapped out for you to follow. Sometimes, your current organisation or immediate work environment does not provide a career ladder to your aspirations. What do you do in such a situation?
Career mentors are relevant to career growth as are career sponsors. Apart from the confidence boost that these people provide to budding professionals, their influence and tutoring provide a reliable springboard to a successful career shift. If you find yourself in an environment where you are unable to make your career moves because there is no straight path from where you are to where you want to be, career mentors can come in handy. A career mentor can coach you and recommend you for a position that is not within your immediate reach.
Widen your circles
The importance of networking can’t be overstated if you intend to advance in your career rapidly. A good recommendation by a fellow professional can go a long way to secure opportunities for you, also spending time with professionals in your field can let you know which openings are vacant and what is required to get the position. Surrounding yourself with friends in your field of work means that you are constantly in the know of news and current trends and you also have work-related conversations once in a while. Joining professional groups, fun clubs, non-profit volunteer groups and associations. A wider circle of friends in your profession helps you to advance and explore new opportunities.
Don’t stop learning
Recommendation letters and good connections can only take you so far till you are given an opportunity to walk the talk. If you can’t work under pressure, if you are not as good as you say you are, if you cannot deliver within timelines, if your work ethic is bad or if you simply do not possess the required knowledge, you will be thrown back down to climb the corporate ladder organically like everyone else. The opportunity to advance in a career by skipping over a few rungs is like the opportunity to skip a few classes in school; not everyone can handle it. Those who want to succeed have to do more than most. To advance in your career without using the corporate ladder, you have to keep learning, do more, be more and keep ahead of the pack. You have to enrol in a higher degree program or take online courses in order to present yourself as a worthy candidate even if your desire for a certain position seems to be over your head your knowledge of the field is what will give you the edge.