How to Advance Your Career in 2016

As the new year begins, your friends, family, and co-workers may all be making lists of resolutions. Eat better. Go to the gym. Spend more time with family.

The new year is a great time for a new start. If you’re frustrated with your career’s current pace of growth, here’s how to plan now for career advancement in 2016.

Set your goals.

What “next step” in your career growth do you want to achieve? Are you seeking a promotion, an increase in pay, assignment to a particular team or project, or a new credential that will open up challenging new opportunities?

Choose your goal; then make it SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. By breaking down your goal in this way, you’ll make it easier to take steps toward it, and you’ll also know when you’ve achieved it.

Seek out new opportunities.

Start actively looking for new projects you can join or new tasks you can take on in order to expand your skills and learn the ropes in another position or department. Not only will you prepare yourself for career advancement, you’ll also send a powerful message to your boss: you’re motivated and you’re willing to take on new challenges.

If the opportunities in your current job are lacking, consider looking outside your current employer’s doors. A similar position or advancement with another employer might provide the opportunity you’re looking for.

Get ready for your performance review.

Many companies carry out their annual performance reviews near the first of the year. If yours is coming up, prepare by asking for a copy of the paperwork in advance. Examine the criteria on which you are being reviewed, and find examples of things you’ve accomplished in the past year that meet each of those criteria. Then, make a list of three to five specific questions you want to ask your supervisor about advancement opportunities. These might include items like “I really want to be promoted by the end of the year. What should I accomplish to make that happen?” or “I hear there’s a new project in [X] department. I have experience with [related skills] and would really like to participate.”

Ask for help.

If it’s time to advance your career by finding a new job, don’t hesitate to contact a recruiter with experience placing professionals in your field. Your recruiter can help you find an employer who offers the career advancement opportunities you crave.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, our experienced recruiters can help you connect with great employers in the Twin Cities area, so you can use 2016 to move your career forward. Contact us today to learn more.

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