4 proactive ways to climb the career ladder

If you want to advance your career, you can’t just sit there and wait for that promotion to be handed to you. Being proactive about your career not only gives you the tools you need to move your career in the right direction, such as skills and contacts, but it demonstrates to the people that matter that you have ambitions beyond just turning up at work for the day and doing the bare minimum.

Here’s 5 ways to be proactive about taking your career to the next level:

1. Networking

Networking can bring huge benefits to your career.  Actively networking both online through sites like LinkedIn, or in person at industry events or office gatherings, can raise your profile and strengthen your relationships with the people who matter. When new opportunities come along, you’ll be at the forefront of people’s minds. Not only this, but networking is a great way to share and receive ideas, knowledge and insights that may be useful to your career in other ways.

Networking also provides opportunities for you to support and help others who will be more willing to reciprocate when you need it further down the line. Think of it as like cultivating a network of advocates and supporters who can help you climb the rungs of your career ladder way into the future.

Read our professional networking advice here

2. Go above and beyond

Showing a willingness to go above and beyond the parameters of your role is a sure fire way to get yourself noticed in all the right ways.

Don’t be afraid to put forward your ideas on ways to improve processes, solve problems, or tactics for company growth. This could be an opportunity to present yourself as an innovator, or even cultivate a new role for yourself by being the one to put those ideas into action.

Equally, if you want to demonstrate your dedication you should be ready to volunteer to take on the less exciting, menial tasks or difficult projects. It’s an opportunity to show you’re willing to work hard extraneous to your everyday responsibilities. Ask how you can help – it will be noticed.

3. Increase your skills and qualifications

If you’re looking to take the next step in your professional life, it pays to give yourself as much help as possible. You can easily build on your existing skills and knowledge, or fill any gaps in your CV with a professional qualification. Keeping your skills up-to-date shows your dedication to your career, gives your CV the edge it needs to stand out, and makes you generally better at your job.

4. Communicate

Communicating with your boss or superiors at work is vital to getting ahead at work – they need to know that you’re looking for a promotion, so don’t assume that they are already aware.

Kieron White, an entrepreneur who has hired and managed hundreds of staff, says “it’s worth letting your manager know that you are keen to be promoted to a more senior role – not only will this help ensure you are considered when the time comes, it also shows your manager that you are ambitious and keen to develop.”

Be sure to also highlight your achievements at work, so they know you’re doing well. If you get some particularly good results, send a report over to your boss. If a client sends some excellent feedback, forward it on.  Promotions aren’t just handed out on a plate. You have to work hard for them, and ask for them.