We often wonder how some of our colleagues, friends, or college mates who started their careers along with us have raced far ahead. On the other hand, we’re still slogging away at the same place, pursuing the same job at the same company. There’s no doubt that there is a lot of hard work that’s behind the success. But if there’s another factor that plays a key role in shaping someone’s career, it’s career progression. Let’s see what career progression is and why it is necessary for today’s context.
What is Career Progression?
Career progression means moving ahead or progressing in your career. Some examples of career progression are getting promoted to higher roles, taking on new opportunities, switching to better jobs or companies, and achieving your career aspirations. It is synonymous with career development. However, the meaning of career progression may vary from person to person.
There is no specific benchmark to define career progress; it does not always refer to getting promotions or receiving salary hikes. Being satisfied with your career trajectory, taking jobs or opportunities that boost personal and professional development, or making a career by pursuing your passion, is also considered career progression.
Is Career Progression the Same as Career Growth?
Career progression can seem similar to career growth. However, career growth refers to both short-term and long-term career goals that you wish to achieve. Career progression refers to achieving your career aspirations or goals by learning skills, getting training and development, and taking charge of your career trajectory for the long run.
Furthermore, career progression refers to the holistic development of your career and the steps that you take to achieve its growth. Career growth is the ‘what’ and ‘where’ aspects of your career—what you want to do in your career or where you see yourself in the coming years. Career progression refers to ‘how’ you achieve career growth or the steps that you take to advance it.
Benefits of Career Progression
Career progression is essential to achieve your career goals and for overall professional and personal development. Here is how it helps:
1. Offers Satisfaction
Career progression helps you move closer to your career goals by taking actionable steps, which makes you feel more content. It also offers a sense of purpose and makes you feel motivated.
2. Creates New Opportunities
As you take steps to advance your career and take on newer challenges, you encounter a plethora of exciting opportunities that can transform your career.
3. Helps Achieve Goals Quicker
Planned career progression can help you achieve goals systematically and quickly without causing too much stress. It also allows you to focus on your personal life.
How to Climb the Workplace Ladder
One of the best ways to get recognition at the workplace and move up the ladder is by taking accountability for your work. You can do this by being proactive, coming up with solutions, and seeking constructive feedback. It instills leadership qualities and helps you build better connections with your colleagues.
Take Initiatives at the Workplace
If you want to scale the workplace ladder faster, you need to go beyond what is expected of you. Some things that you can try are coming up with ideas to make processes seamless or suggesting campaigns to increase brand awareness. It will make you more noticeable at the workplace and people will appreciate your work, thus increasing your chances of moving up the ladder.
Don’t Fear Competition at Work
Every person wants to succeed on the job. However, you should not be afraid of fierce competition. Healthy competition will motivate you to perform better than your colleagues. However, what you need to do is focus on your goals.
5 Tips to Create a Career Progression Plan
Evaluate Your Current Role
Before you plan the next steps in your career, it is essential to analyze your current role and career trajectory so far. If you have achieved the majority of your goals, you need to plan the road, where you want to reach, and whether you can do that in your current job or at the same organization. If you are planning on switching jobs and are looking for different opportunities, you should plan your goals accordingly.
Create SMART Goals
You can create Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals for career progression. For example, building your professional network by connecting with people on LinkedIn in the next six months, achieving your Objectives and Key Results (OKR) by learning new skills and improving work efficiency, etc.
Build a Professional Network
You need peers or mentors to guide you and help you navigate your career path. Building a professional network is one of the best ways for career progression. Connect with people, learn new ideas, concepts, and perspectives, grow, and become a better leader and colleague. If you already have a professional network that doesn’t motivate you to work on your goals, you should focus on building connections with more goal-oriented and like-minded people. The best way to build connections is to attend networking events, reach out to people on LinkedIn, and write cold emails.
Learning new skills is essential to advance your career. Create a list of skills that can help you in your current job, get you a promotion, a salary hike, or interdisciplinary skills that interest you, depending on your career goals. You should also focus on enhancing soft skills like leadership, risk analysis, and problem-solving. The best way to upskill is to pursue higher degree educational programs or online courses, like the ones Emeritus offers, to help you master the most relevant industry skills.
If you feel that your career has become stagnant or has slowed down, step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. You can talk to your current employer and ask them to give you more challenging roles and opportunities. Moreover, as people say, it’s never too late to learn a new skill, get a new degree, or even switch careers. Taking risks is essential for career progression. Nevertheless, it is important to take calculated risks that align with your goals.
How Does it Impact Personal Development
While we are often told to keep our personal and professional lives separate, the truth is our professional lives impact our personal lives, and not always in the negative sense. It boosts confidence and helps you gain more faith in yourself. A study on “Experience of Personal Growth in Different Career Stages” suggests that personal growth is also impacted by how people flourish and thrive in their professional lives. Different stages of your career help shape your personal, cognitive, and social development as you tackle career challenges.
Career progression requires the right guidance, effective strategies, and consistency, among other things, to advance your career. You can also consider learning practical skills; check out the wide range of online courses offered by Emeritus to advance your career.
By Sneha Chugh
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