How to Keep Your Career On Track

Five Simple Ways to Advance your Career this Year

Career tips for advancing your careerAre you ready to make your career goals take flight? Make 2015 a year to remember by taking small, active steps towards advancing your career. Rather than just making lofty goals or broad generalisations, focus on achievable tasks that will keep you from treading water in your career. Here are five ideas to help you start gaining some momentum.

1. Join a professional association.

Do you want an easy way to look more professional to recruiters? Join a professional association in your industry. There are a number of benefits associated with becoming a member, including educational and networking opportunities.

You'll be able to rub shoulders with industry leaders, particularly if you choose to volunteer at special events. This could help you find out about new job openings and gain additional experience in your field. And if nothing else, professional association membership looks good on your CV.

2. Brush up on industry trends.

Along these same lines, another way to boost your career prospects this year is to enrol in a course or seminar. Upgrade your skill set and you may be able to land a higher paying position.

Whether it's an IT course to catch up with the latest trends or a seminar in HR management, take advantage of educational opportunities when they arise. If you want to move forward this year, it's important to take responsibility for your own advancement and try your hand at something new.

3. Find a mentor.

Do you feel like you need some guidance? Find a mentor. A professional mentor can help you navigate a new career path by sharing his or her own experiences, giving you first-person advice.

You may be able to find a mentor through your professional association, or by reaching out to someone in the industry whom you admire. Suggest meeting over coffee or engaging in Skype chats every so often to check in.

4. Be realistic about your goals.

Have you had the same career goal for some time now, with very little progress? The problem may be that you simply don't want it enough. Look carefully at your goal. Do you really want to run your own business, or is this just something that you feel you "should" strive for? Stay true to yourself and if you want to make more modest gains, do so.

5. Document your achievements.

It's a good idea at the end of every month or sales quarter to run through the little things that you did right. Keep a running tally of all of your achievements, whether it's positive feedback from a client or a major sale. Document these in a file so that if you do see a new job opportunity arise, you'll be able to have a written track record of accomplishments. This can also give you motivation during times when you feel your career isn't moving forward as quickly as you like.

These are five concrete strategies that could help you move forward this year. By taking small, positive steps forward, you could see major advancement by the time 2016 rolls around!



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