A recent report found that 33% of UK employees believe their career progression has failed to meet their expectations.  Poor careers advice was cited as one of the reasons cited preventing employees from getting into the right jobs and bad line management preventing them from progressing once in work.  This, combined with reports of a 2-year low in job satisfaction, adds up to a compelling need for organisations to address these concerns.

But in the rhetoric around the research there seemed to be something missing – the crucial role of the employee in managing their own careers.

Here are some top tips:

1. Craft your existing role to make it more meaningful

Craft your role by:

  • using your strengths to improve the way things are done,
  • having more meaningful interactions with people (eg by collaborating in new and different ways),
  • re-framing your work eg a cleaner may redefine their role from ‘cleaning offices’ to ‘helping staff work in a more pleasant environment’,
  • seeking opportunities to get involved in projects which interest you and getting involved in corporate activities outside of your area of work.  Doing so should help to really get under the skin of what your organisation is trying to achieve and how your work connects with this.

2. Manage your development

Take control of your development and seek out opportunities for continuous learning.  If there are no formal training opportunities available to you, there are many courses available online, including via reputable universities which are completely free (such as MOOCs).  Work-based development can also be powerful in giving your career progression a boost – find out from your manager if it may be possible to get a mentor or coach from within your organisation.

3. Ask for regular feedback

Proactively seek and act on feedback on a regular basis.  Get into the routine of recording what you’ve accomplished on a regular basis as well as to recording feedback received. Doing so can help raise your self-awareness, improve your performance and provide valuable contents for your CV.

4. Experiment with other jobs

If you have a particular calling it’s worth experimenting with it before committing fully.  To road-test something new, first use your network.  Identify who you know who works in that type of role, and ask them for a candid insight. Research trends and opportunities in your chosen area.  If it still sounds promising, think about doing some voluntary work, work shadowing or being seconded into the role.

5. Chat to a career coach 

Career coaches are professionally-trained to guide people though career progression and change.  From identifying your values interests and transferable skills, to equipping you with the tips and tools needed to navigate selection procedures and then transition smoothly into your new role, a career coach can act as a valuable tool in helping you achieve your career aspirations.

Get in touch to find out I could help you.