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How to Grow in Career : 6 Steps you Must follow

Imagine! You have attained a job in an industry you have always wanted to work in. But do you want to stay in the same job position forever? No, right!

Since, the world is moving at such a fast pace, everyone aspires for career growth. The position that you are at today is a reflection of the skills and the hard work you had put in. But what to do now to grow for a successful career in the future?

Today, the job market is pretty competitive and if you do not stay on the cutting edge of the industry, you would be only standing amongst the crowd. So, to differentiate yourself, it is important to commit to constant learning and expand the boundaries of your knowledge.

Why Career Growth is Important?

Simply put, in the long run, a mundane 9 to 5 job can do much worse than good to one’s career. If you do not aspire for a career progression, others will pass by and you will be stuck repeating the same old tasks. A career growth will help you gain more satisfying job titles and will bring increase in respect from peers. Although, it will come along with the added responsibilities, the self-confidence, the extra-skills learned and the financial growth will make it all worth it.

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Ways to Grow in a Career:

1. Invest Time in Yourself

 

First things first, you cannot dream of growing, without investing time in yourself. Working professionals argue that time is the most scare resource they own, but slacking some time off from your daily schedule for your development is necessary. You can take advantage of your lunch breaks and engage in stuffs that will help you hone your skill set further such as watch a training video on YouTube, attend a webinar, read a book, follow blogs, or research in a topic that you find fruitful. You can also take out enough time in the morning or at night to brush up on your skills or learn a new one.

Capturing your commute time is also a great way to invest in your learning. Although, it does not look like, you potentially spend almost 7-8 hours per week in commuting to your job and back and now you can spend all this time focusing on your learning. You can absorb a podcast, hear audiobooks, or other amazing videos available on the web. Devoting an hour daily to your learning can go a long way to help grow in a career and that too without much altering your daily schedule.

2. Gain Access to Online Resources

“Knowledge is Power.” It is a saying that holds true in every step of one’s life and is in fact an important asset for career growth. If you become stagnant to knowledge, you will be irrelevant to the industry. Hence, to grow in a career, it is important to constantly learn new skills, polish the current skills and keep yourself updated with the industry’s new trends. Internet has made everything accessible. There are various online platforms that will help you gain access to several resources such as E-books, online training library of courses, etc. and advance your skills. The best part of online learning is that you can do this at your own pace, customize it according to your needs and without taking unnecessary leaves from office.

You can carve out time for your career growth from weekends as well. There are online weekend classes specifically designed for working professionals. Additionally, there are diploma courses, certification courses and online degrees that will prove to be valuable to you in your career growth. In fact, traditional & accredited universities have also turned around and launched certain programs to be delivered online.

3. Take Up Tasks Out of Your Comfort Zone

As it is rightly said, “Success lies just out of your comfort zone.” Taking up new and challenging projects helps you upgrade your skill set and expand your perceptions across industry. Many organizations have allied projects that differ from their line of business and function specialties. There are also some projects that others simply avoid taking up due to their added complexities. Checking out on such projects willingly and asking your manager that you want to work on that specific assignment is a good practice. The new skills, ideas, group connections and wider perspective that you will gain through working on these projects, will be worth the investment. Such projects also help you stretch beyond your expert areas and provides you the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.

Not only projects, but you can also take up small tasks that scares you such as public speaking at conferences, making presentations, blogging on topics, etc. Further, this will help you increase your credibility, win trust and gain support from the management and others outside your group.

4. Build Up A Strong Network

This is a very important aspect of your career growth. Forming connections within the industry makes you more valuable than you can possibly think. A well-developed network is a source of friendships or referrals which can help you create new opportunities for yourself. Surround yourself with people who are growth-oriented. Networking does not mean collecting business cards. Your network should know how you are as a person and how good your work is in the industry so that you can be helpful to them in the future and vice-versa.

One of the best ways to connect to people is via a social media platform- especially LinkedIn. It provides you with an excellent mean to network with professionals within or outside your industry. You can also attend industry events, conferences, or workshops to network brilliantly. Approaching people and starting relevant conversations will help you in networking. Not only this, you can simply start by building a network within your workplace. Start healthy conversations at office parties or team lunches or have short meetings during breaks. A good set of people around enriches you and provides you opportunity to grow. Just remember to network! Network! Network! Cannot stress enough on its importance.

5. Develop Your Soft Skills

This is an aspect that is often overruled by people when considering ways for career growth. People stress over achieving technical and core job skills but developing soft skills that helps you grow as a person professionally is equally important. Before putting your skills to test, people notice your character. They take into account the way you act, speak or present yourself. Therefore, work towards building soft skills such as communication, team player attitude, negotiations, active listening, work ethic, presentation skills, etc.

Unlike hard skills that can be quantified and advanced, attaining soft skills is not straightforward. First, you need to introspect and know which areas do you need the most improvement in. Sit with a mentor or a person who can provide honest feedbacks. Once you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can create an action plan to improve. For example: if you want to improve on your public speaking skills you can join groups such as Toastmasters or if you want to improve on your presentation skills you can take up courses for the same.

6. Read Extensively

Every minute spent in reading is productive. Reading offers perspective on different cultures, lifestyles and more. Someone has rightly said, “Reading is a very necessary habit of every successful entrepreneur.” It broadens your horizons, helps you develop vocabulary, communication skills and sparks a certain level of your creativity. Reading about other people helps you be empathetic and understand their lives better. Life is too short to learn everything from personal experiences and grow, thus reading and learning from the experiences of others can serve as a lesson on life. This helps you save time and take shortcut to success.

Reading also helps you to stay calm and persevere. It stimulates mental activity and fosters cognitive growth. It helps you manage your stress level successfully and prepare yourself for other tasks. Many people argue that listening to music and taking a walk also helps reduce stress, but research suggests that reading outperforms everything in terms of a stress buster. Reading only six minutes per day can reduce your stress level by more than two-thirds.

Conclusion

In today’s competitive corporate world, growth in the job is the need of the hour. Where everyone is striving hard to excel in their respective fields and giving their 200% to the demands of their job, they fail to invest time in developing their skills further for a better future.

The job market changes quickly and we have to prepare ourselves for the unpredictable environment. Hence, clinging to the same role without looking for opportunities to grow can be dangerous than it may seem. So, to stay in the league and have a rewarding career, one has to groom oneself constantly as per the industry.

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