Take your career to the next level with these get-ahead strategies


Goldfish jumping from a small fish bowl into a larger fish bowl

Many people are looking for more than just a job from an employer. A Workforce 2020 study found that 34 percent of employees would increase their loyalty to and engagement with their employers if they felt they had career advancement opportunities. If you want to advance in your career, you’ll have to do more than work hard — but knowing what you should be doing other than “just your job” can be a challenge. Here are a few strategies to take to heart if you want to get your career to the next level.

Be Open to Possibility

The time when you could graduate from university and secure yourself a lifelong career has passed. Today, your job may be outsourced, you may be laid off suddenly or your company may merge with another overnight. What this means is that you must constantly be open to new possibilities, opportunities and challenges within your profession. By staying aware you become more than just another worker bee, and your value to employers shows. Your career may take an unexpected turn at any time, so be prepared and welcome change.

Maintain Your Public-Facing Profile

Maintain an up-to-date portfolio rather than simply updating your resume when looking for work. LinkedIn is a popular way to maintain a professional online profile, but it won’t do you much good if you don’t list your skills. Users who list their skills on their LinkedIn profiles get 13 times more views than those who don’t, the networking site reports.

Update your skill set regularly to widen your area of expertise and help you stand out online. Take a class or pick up a new certification from a reputable source — Moody’s Analytics, for example, offers numerous certifications and seminars in Calgary and Toronto — and then add those new skills to your profile. In doing so, your profile shows to your current or potential future employers that you are an valuable investment that is quickly maturing.

Take People as They Are

Don’t worry about your co-workers’ foibles. Maybe it irritates you someone is always late, or perhaps you feel like a colleague isn’t pulling his or her weight in the office — but the truth is, those things aren’t your concern unless they actively add to your work load. You’ll be happier, more productive and more focused on your own career when you eliminate your focus on others.

In the same vein, you might have a boss whose quirks don’t make sense to you. Maybe it’s a strange dress code pet peeve or a preference for Helvetica to Times New Roman, but whatever it is they do that irks you, move past it. Unless it genuinely prohibits you from being productive, going with the flow shows that you are adaptable and work well with others. The only exception to this rule: If you work for someone whose behavior is counterproductive or illegal, advance your career by finding a new job.

Build Connections

Very rarely do people move forward in their careers by being a lone wolf, and the reality is that our connections play a huge role in whether we grow or stagnate. Surround yourself with positive and productive people, and you’ll find your own work improving. Respect your colleagues and they’ll treat you with respect in return — which is good, because you never know when you’ll need a recommendation or reference to advance your career. Find a local networking organization at Networking Today Canada.