Published on January 30th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
3 Strategic Ways to Take Your Career to the Next Level
We all want to move up the ladder. It doesn’t matter which field you’re in or how much experience you have. Advancement is the name of the game anywhere you go. Career-wise, there really is nothing better than working hard and seeing it pay off with a promotion or move to a bigger and better role at your dream organization.
Unfortunately, it can be a lot easier said than done. What may take a five-minute montage in a movie could take five years in the real world. This doesn’t mean you have to toil away forever though. No, nothing will ever happen overnight, and, yes, you will need to have some dedication and patience.
But you can speed up the process or at least improve your odds for success. To get a leg up and take your career to the next level, try these tips. Who knows? You may just see yourself getting that call you’ve been so eagerly waiting for quicker than you even hoped.
1. Sticking to a Plan
One common career problem people face is entirely of their own making. They simply don’t actually know what they want to do and end up floating around between different plans. First you want to learn coding to get into a new field then — no, wait, wait — you re-assess and realize, actually, this marketing track that you’re already on could work.
By then it’s too late. Your boss has noticed your aimlessness on the last two projects as you half-heartedly came in to work like a clock-puncher more than a team member. Now it will be all that much harder to advance, at least at this firm. You just took two steps back.
Don’t despair. It’s fine to have had some indecision in the past. It happens to everyone. You can overcome it. But you won’t unless you begin to think critically about where you want to be and start working toward that objective. You can’t achieve anything unless there is a real goal. Setting one is the first step to getting there.
2. Being a Weekend Warrior
Now that you know where you’re heading, you need to start sprinting toward it. And there’s no lying about it: this part isn’t easy. There is a lot of competition out there with so many people grinding away and looking for an edge. It almost feels like you have to forego sleep and a social life to get ahead.
Really, seriously — you don’t want to take things to far. Burnout is real and you need to find a work/life balance, as cliché as it may sound. Any short-term gains achieved by burning the candle at both ends will be lost in another month or so when you lose all motivation. So be careful. Working aggressively toward your goal doesn’t mean going overboard.
Still, you do need to put in some extra time. Whether this is working to finish that project on a Saturday for a few hours at home or taking some career development classes after Sunday brunch, you’ll need to find the time on the weekend. Be strategic and view your hours as resources. Deploy them as needed in the right way and become a smart weekend warrior — not a workaholic drone.
3. Carving Out Your Space
No matter which route you pick for weekend warrior advancement, you need a good home office setup. Hopefully, you can find a full room — or at least a dedicated desk where you live. Some people may just have to make do with the kitchen table. But try to get a space that is comfortable and ergonomic to put in some real time.
Regardless of the physical space, one key will be setting up a proper, reliable, and secure WiFi connection complete with WEP security (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA/WPA2 security. This last part is key. Especially when working on materials from your company or a client, you need to be sure you have top-notch protection. It’s not worth taking a risk.
Getting to the Next Level
Career advancement is a lot like losing weight and getting in shape. There might be some real tricks that help you do it quite quickly. But a lot of that is BS. If you want to do it in a healthy and sustainable way, you’re looking at some time and commitment for the foreseeable future.
Don’t look at this as a negative. It will all pay off in the long run. You just need to start thinking strategically and set the right goals. Then carve out some extra time for you to get ahead while others waste time watching silly movies or scrolling on social media. And get yourself a good space with some good connectivity to get all this extra work done.
Ultimately, there really shouldn’t be anything holding you back — except you. Everyone makes excuses, and has some setbacks. But don’t let these define your future. Find some focus and make today the day that you start getting busy.