Having a plan for your career can help you achieve the success you dream of. It’s not as simple as setting goals, but it’s more so about building the right habits, thinking style, and getting the feedback you need to help you advance in your career. Let’s do a deep dive in the career strategies you can work towards in 2024 to help you advance in your career.
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14 Career Strategies for Career Advancement in 2024
1. Learn something new daily
One of the career strategies to work on is learning something new each day. In your role, you should aim to learn something new by reading something in your industry, like trends or tactics. Alternatively, you could read customer support emails to better understand what people like or dislike about your company’s product or service to better understand how to serve your audience better. An online course in your industry or field might help you think of new ideas or new ways of looking at problems. And starting a new hobby can help you forge new connections in your brain, which helps boost your creativity at work. Making learning an intentional daily habit can help you with your career advancement but overall wellbeing. People often feel more fulfilled at work when learning new things.
2. Experiment in your craft
Mastering something takes so much experimentation. It’s not just about doing something once. It’s about finding out all the boundaries within your role through trial and error. It’s about knowing something so deeply because you’ve tested out all the possible methods and have figured out what will work and what won’t (and even in what context). To elevate from a junior to a senior in your craft, you’ll need to have mastered the skills of knowing what works. Being open to failure by truly trying novel ways of doing things can sometimes be the thing that leads to your fast track towards success. Having a mindset of experimentation can be one of the most transformative career strategies you can have.
3. Ask for more feedback
When you’re thinking about your career development plan, it’s hard to know what direction to lean into without getting feedback from others. Feedback doesn’t always need to be constructive criticism, but you shouldn’t shy away from the negative stuff either. Even knowing what things you do well, what you should double down on, or what your main focus should be could be a great way of knowing what to do more of. When it comes to asking for feedback, give people notice to give them a chance to think about it before meeting with you. And if you hear something unpleasant, remember that you can easily change and improve by adopting new habits. Knowing your flaws gives you the opportunity to actually evolve into an even better employee or manager. It doesn’t mean you’re not good enough, it’s more so like unlocking the secret that moves you into greatness.
4. Set goals for yourself
Having one big goal that you’re working towards can help align the direction you want. Your goal might be to grow into a leadership role or to move into another career path. By knowing what it is you hope to achieve, you can create career strategies that align with that end goal. For example, if your goal is to move into your first product manager position, you might start by taking a product manager course, networking with product managers, asking for more projects to work with developers, and more. Meanwhile, if your goal is to grow into a leadership role, you might start reading leadership books, taking a leadership course, mentor people on your team, ask your manager for feedback on skills you need to develop to be a good manager, and practice delegating responsibilities. Knowing what the big goal is can help you figure out what the next steps you should take are.
5. Build one simple habit
The biggest game-changer in career strategies lies in your ability to accomplish something. Having a good goal can align you, but if you don’t add an element of action to it, it’s nothing more than some wishy-washy fantasy. A lot of people fail to accomplish things because they often set multiple goals or habits at the same time. For most people, great results come from a dedicated focus. So, if you’re hoping to hit a specific follower count on social media, posting content, commenting on people’s posts, and following people every single day will help you achieve that. When you have the right habit in place, success follows. You need to commit to doing something so persistently that your impact in that area grows. So, choose a good habit to build.
6. Be open to redirection (change)
One of the career strategies to keep in mind is that change is inevitable. You need to take it into account when planning out your goals. Throughout your life, you need to take a Forrest Gump approach. In Forrest Gump, Forrest is constantly open to going with the flow. As a result, he accomplishes extraordinary things. The people in the film who struggle to go with the flow and resistant change, end up unhappy until they finally find peace in the chaos that their setbacks and traumas have caused. Sometimes, the things we want most in our careers don’t happen in the way we want and it doesn’t work within our rigid timelines. Being open to change, setbacks, and redirections can be a rewarding experience. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it can elevate you to heights beyond your wildest dreams.
7. Help the people around you succeed
One of the biggest causes of career success is your ability to lift up the people around you. If you’re considering growing into a leadership role or gaining more influence within your company, you can start by helping the people around you succeed. That doesn’t mean you take credit for their work or elevate yourself by putting them down. It’s about knowing what other people’s goals are and helping them get there by hyping them up, giving them ideas, or supporting them through your own work tasks. Being a leader isn’t about looking good to others, it’s about making the whole team look good. Often, when we’re insecure, we have a ‘look at me’ mindset. But when you move past that into helping others grow and lifting up the people around you, people actually start to look at you.
8. Work in a positive environment
Working in a positive environment can be one of the best career strategies. Not only is it pretty impactful for having good mental health, it can also be a game-changer for your career. When you work in a positive environment, you’re more likely to get positive recommendations from coworkers and superiors. You’ll have enough trust and autonomy to learn, grow, and try new things, which can help you add insightful content for your resume. You’ll come up with more creative ideas as your thinking won’t be as rigid or stressed. Collaborating with others will come more naturally, which allows you to network with people, which could also pay off tremendously in your career as well. You can always leave a job that isn’t positive for one that is.
9. Build strong relationships with others
Networking is one of the most powerful career advancement strategies. With LinkedIn, your strong relationships can also take place online instead of in your company. While your coworkers see your work ethic, results, and attitude on a daily basis, you can grow an enormous network of people by posting actively on social media. Responding to comments and engaging on other people’s posts are great ways to connect with others. When you celebrate people’s wins online, they will notice. People often check to see what people have said on their posts, so they’ll remember you more. When using platforms like LinkedIn, aim to lift people up with supportive comments, praise, and appreciation. Beyond LinkedIn and the workplace, you can network with people at volunteer programs, networking events, philanthropy meetups, local events in your community, career-related Slack groups, and more. You never know who knows who, so avoid burning bridges, and get to know people deeply.
10. Chat with a career coach
One of the strategies for career development is to chat with a career coach. If you find yourself stuck in a job, salary range, or job title, you might connect with a career coach to come up with career strategies to help you break beyond that that are unique to you. By talking out your exact situation with someone, they might start to see what bad habits you have or how you think to help you move beyond your current situation into your growth zone. Having a career coach or a mindset coach helps you build the confidence and skills you need to move to the next stage of your career and can be transformative for your growth.
If a career coach isn’t within your budget, you might choose to talk to your boss or a senior leader in your company to help you figure out what the blockers in your way are. Maybe your company isn’t growing fast enough, preventing your own career growth. In this case, you might choose to look for your next role. You can use a tool like Huntr, to organize your job search, apply to jobs faster with autofill applications, and create an ATS-friendly resume and cover letter for free.
11. Learn a new skill with no expectations
Often, when we think about our career strategies, we build skills that have direct tie-ins. For example, a developer might learn a new programming language to expand his knowledge base. However, to boost creativity, networking opportunities, and more, consider learning a new skill that has nothing to do with your job. For example, if you work in marketing, you might sign-up for a robotics course to learn how to build robots. Or if you’re a product designer, you might sign-up for a pasodoble class to learn how to dance. Having a weird skillset beyond your job can make you more well-rounded as a person, forge new connections, and think about things from an unconventional perspective. Learning the skill for the sake of learning something new will be rewarding, while also giving you a competitive edge from a mindset perspective.
12. Improve your weaknesses
Most people will tell you that you should double down on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. This can be helpful in a lot of cases, especially when it comes to speed of execution. However, in practical senses, improving your weaknesses is something that shouldn’t be outright avoided. Everything is learnable. You might have a blunt communication style that’s holding you back from your career advancement. Learning how to speak with more tact can be the deciding factor that propels you into your next leadership role. Sometimes, your weakness is holding you back on your path. Learning how to break beyond that can help you elevate to new heights.
13. Create an accomplishments folder
One of the easiest career strategies to implement this year is creating an accomplishments folder. This can be a folder on your desktop where you keep track of all your accomplishments. Alternatively, it could be a spreadsheet or Google Doc. In this folder, you’ll add positive comments your coworkers have Slacked you, metrics you’ve personally hit, successes you’ve had, and any other data points you might need to help you when it comes time to performance review. When your review is upon you, you can use direct quotes from colleagues and what they think of you. You’ll have actual data for what you’ve done. And so, when it’s time to negotiate that pay increase, you’re basing your impact on real numbers and feedback, which can help you with career advancement.
14. Look at problems as growth opportunities
People who are defeated by problems will often crumble when setbacks occur. Having problems or challenges in your career can actually be the reason why you climb to the top. When the company your working at is struggling at something, you can channel your most creative and impactful ideas. Seeing someone turn something around is highly inspiring and rewarding. It’s not just about being on the ride when things go well. It’s really about how you’ll rise up when the odds are stacked against you. Changing your mindset when it comes to problem solving and professional setbacks can be one of the most important career strategies as it can be a great story of triumph you tell at your next job interview.
Is it time to advance in your career?
Implementing these career strategies for advancement can allow you to really improve your mindset, accomplishments, and network. If you’ve been thinking about switching roles to see a boost in salary or a change in job title, you can use Huntr to keep track of your interviews, apply to more roles faster, and create a resume and cover letter that books more interviews. Sign-up for Huntr today.