What Is Career Advancement?

Career advancement occurs when you take the necessary strides to advance from an entry-level position into a more senior position within a current or new company.

Whether you want to achieve a managerial position or strive to become a CEO, learning about career advancement methods is an essential step in your professional development. Furthermore, there are two primary ways to achieve career advancement. First, you can transition from one role to the next within the same organization. Moreover, you can choose to advance your career by changing from one company to another.

Regardless of how you choose to advance your career, finding the path that works best for you will help to make the process easier to manage. Once you have determined what position you ultimately want to hold in your current career field, you can begin taking the steps that are necessary to bring you to this role. Read the following sections to start formulating a plan.

How Career Advancement Can Benefit You

Many workers feel comfortable occupying the same role with the same company until reaching retirement age, which can be beneficial in its own way. However, if you want to go further in your chosen field, you must consider methods related to career advancement. Furthering your career comes with many benefits, which may be tangible or intangible.

One of the intangible benefits to career advancement is that you will avoid burning out. Learning something new, challenging yourself with stimulating tasks and gaining additional responsibilities are ways to keep you interested in what you do. Moreover, you can make a lateral move within your organization, to a position that challenges you and will eventually give provide you with the skills needed to advance your career. In this case, an intangible advantage may lead to a tangible one.

If you can advance in your career either with your current company or by transitioning into a similar role in a different company, the benefits of doing so will become evident. With a new position you can expect more responsibilities, but this also provides you with the chance to prove that you are a valuable employee to your supervisors. Additionally, working your way toward a higher-level position will often come with a pay raise, which can help you to live a more comfortable lifestyle. You may also gain additional benefits once you have been promoted from an entry-level position. Furthermore, some companies may offer more vacation time or sick time for employees who hold seniority, as well as stock options in the company.

How to Advance in Your Current Career

Once you have determined that you can advance within your existing company, you can begin to draw a path to your career development. There are steps that you can take right away, even while working an entry-level position, to prove to your boss that you are serious about pursuing senior-level opportunities. For example, to advance in your current career, being by:

  • Speaking with your supervisor about taking on additional work: Taking on new tasks will show your employer that you can handle an increased workload. When you are promoted, you will have added responsibilities. Therefore, you must prove in advance that you are equipped to handle this transition. However, to do so, you have to complete new assignments in an efficient manner, as simply taking on extra work and failing to deliver will show that you are not ready for advancement.
  • Assisting team members with difficult projects will show your willingness to work together as a team to accomplish a common goal. One of the key aspects of holding a leadership role is a proven ability to oversee other employees and to work with them to complete a task. If you are seeking opportunities to help your coworkers achieve tasks and meet deadlines, you are showing your superiors that you can work well with the entire team. Working independently is a beneficial trait, but working with a team conveys the message of leadership potential.
  • Browsing through open job listings for your company to determine if you are qualified for one of these roles. If you meet the requirements for a mid-level to a high-level role in your company, apply for the opportunity when it becomes available. This shows your eagerness to advance and puts you in consideration for a promotion sooner.
  • Learning whether you need an additional certificate to pursue a senior position. If you need additional certifications or degrees to earn a promotion with your company, you can speak with your employer about tuition reimbursement plans. Certain companies are willing to help you pay for education fees.

How to Advance Your Career by Moving to a Different Company

If it seems like you are unable to advance your career within your current company, you may want to pursue the option of moving to a new company to find better opportunities. It might not seem ideal to start over with a new employer and new colleagues, but the transition could be beneficial to your career on a long-term basis. However, you should talk to your current boss and see if career advancement opportunities are possible before pursuing a new job elsewhere.

To begin the process of advancing your career by moving to a different company, use your current contacts to see if you can identify open positions that have growth potential. Once you have entered the interview process for a new company, you will want to speak with your existing employer and tell him or her of your intention to leave the company. In doing so, you will allow your employer to find a replacement for your position before you transition into a high-level role in a different company.

On the other hand, telling your employer in advance that you intend to leave can be a tricky situation, because some companies do not like when employees are searching for other jobs while still employed by them. In order to avoid any issues, make sure that you have been upfront with your current employer, stressing that you have enjoyed working in your current company but see no room for growth. Therefore, make sure to state that your desire to join a new company has to do with advancing your professional life. While good employers will be sorry to see you go, most will be understanding and even supportive of your decision, as long as you do not blindside them and submit your resignation out of the blue.

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