One of the most important pillars of a fulfilling professional life is a sense that you’re progressing. Many of us will have found ourselves in positions where we feel as though we’re stuck in a rut, and the feeling can be demoralising and depressing.
Let’s take a look at how to avoid this situation, or to extract yourself from it. The most effective strategies involve some input from your employer – but it’s usually in the interest of the employer to help to develop an employee that wants to progress.
By picking up new skills and competencies, you’ll find yourself able to step through more doors than you did before. Training comes in many different forms. You might look for a mentor in your workplace, whom you can shadow in order to discover more about a given role in the company. For example, if you’re an assistant manager on a construction site, then you might wish to one day progress to be the site manager. If you need an incentive, you might ask yourself: how much do construction site managers earn?
Ask for a personal development plan
In many cases, progressing in your career is a simple matter of determining whether you’re on the right track, and taking corrective action if you’re not. The first of these steps can be achieved by requesting a personal development plan from your superiors. This is a special framework that will help you to identify your weaknesses and work out what you need to achieve in the short and medium term.
By asking for a plan, you’ll be demonstrating a desire to progress. This might help to set you apart from the field when the time comes to promote someone. If you implement the recommendations in your personal development plan, and you become a more productive member of the team in a way that your direct superiors can’t miss, then career progression is almost unavoidable.
Enhance your skills
It’s all very well asking your employer to point you in the right direction – but even when help is forthcoming, it’s worth taking the initiative and trying to better yourself independently. You might upskill by taking on a course outside of work, or by studying independently. Simply reading the right books, taking notes and implementing your findings in your working day might be enough to make the difference, especially if you use this method to develop the right habits.
If you find that you’re unable to progress within a given role, then don’t wait around for the circumstances to change. Instead, be proactive, and try to change those circumstances yourself. With unemployment in the UK generally low, there’s no shortage of positions to be filled!