If you are feeling unchallenged, bored, dissatisfied or stuck at your current position at work, you’re not the only one. Many young professionals begin their careers in positions with hopes to climb the ranks, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Most members of the Jaycees know things are not just handed to you – you have to work for advancement in the workplace. Besides coming to work and doing your job, what else can you do to promote your career development in your current position? Here are four ways that can help you build a stronger self-brand at work:
Know what is possible. In some jobs, there just isn’t room for growth. Period. Sometimes the best kind of career development doesn’t involve a promotion; sometimes it’s knowing that you won’t advance. Why? Because career development isn’t just about that — it’s about how you handle adversity and overcome perceived obstacles. Learn all you can about your job/industry/etc. and be the best at it so you are prepared when an opportunity arises.
Get involved outside of the office. Have a charity or cause you are extra passionate about? Your bosses are likely to support your volunteer or fundraising efforts AND it can be a way to enhance your workplace reputation.
Make sure you’re great at more than just your work. Are you a good communicator? Work well with others? Super organized? Your boss (and their boss) may value more than just the ability to produce quality work. If you have your eyes set on a promotion or a raise, focus on maintaining your high quality of work as well as improving your soft skills, which are coincidentally often skills identified with great leaders.
Be committed. Might there be better opportunities out there? Or the possibility to get your foot in the door elsewhere? Maybe. Does that mean you should jump ship for the chance of greener pastures? Definitely not. We’ve all heard the phrase “with no risk comes no reward.” Make goals at work, commit to them and evaluate where you stand at the end. If you aren’t making the progress you anticipated, the career development you want may not be an option in your current position.
Don’t ever let yourself feel stuck in your current position. It’s up to you to create opportunity – whether by investing in your existing job or by finding a job with a more promising future. Have you had success in moving up the ladder? Visit the Jaycees’ Facebook and Twitter pages to share your experiences with us. If you are not a member of the United States Junior Chamber and are interested in getting involved in an organization outside of work, visit our website to find out how to join our chapter.