How to Prepare for a New Step on Your Career Path


A few posts ago on this blog, I shared some tips for identifying your career development needs. If that post was relevant to you, by now you’ve hopefully been working hard on your personal development and are starting to think about taking the next step on your career path. Of course not everyone wants a promotion, but if you’re ambitious and know you have more to offer than your current position permits, the following tips will help you begin preparations for a step up in your company hierarchy.   Make Sure You’ve Been Playing Your A Game In my previous post on this topic (How to Identify Your Career Development Needs), I suggested that in addition to following the tips provided, you should make the effort to become known as someone who exceeds expectations. I had a good reason for mentioning this. Plenty of misguided employees reach a point where they believe a promotion is due, regardless of their current performance. Here comes the reality check. A senior manager in your company is not going to consider an employee for promotion unless that employee has excelled—every day—in her current role. You’ll not be perceived as someone ready to be promoted into a bigger job if you aren’t acing the one you have. That’s why the first step in preparing to advance your career path is to play your A game and consistently exceed what’s expected of you.   Prepare Yourself for the Role You Want If you’ve excelled in your current position, you won’t be a position where you are overwhelmed. Therefore you’ll have some available bandwidth to take on additional tasks. Use that bandwidth to research the role you plan to move into (presumably you have a role in mind and aren’t just setting your sites on “any promotion”). When you’ve done your research, refer back to my...

How to Identify Your Career Development Needs


Are you determined to move onward and upward in your career? If so, all power to you. Rather than just wish you every success (which I really do), I thought I’d share a few tips for career development within your current role, which will enable you to become a top performer at your job and to draw management attention to your skills, abilities, qualities and attributes. In a future post I’ll focus more on developing yourself for your next (and hopefully more senior role), but for now, let’s get you known as someone whose work ethic and capabilities are the mark of someone bound for better things.   Identify Development Needs that Make a Difference: A 3-Step Plan Here are three steps to identify how and where you need to develop to excel in your current role and gain a name as someone who exceeds expectations:   Step 1: Review the requirements of your role: First it’s time to revisit the formal job description for the position in which you currently work. If you need any points in the job description to be clarified or if no such formal description exists, don’t worry. Ask for a meeting with your line manager to help you understand what skills need to be most developed to perform your job at the top level, taking into account any changes that may imminently impact the job requirements. Create a written list of all the key skills, areas of knowledge and behaviours required for the role.   Step 2: Critique yourself honestly against the list: Now you need to go through the list that you created in step 1 and rate yourself honestly against each skill, knowledge area and behaviour. Honesty is the most important thing in this step. Few people are at the very top of their game in every aspect of their roles....