How to Improve Your Qualifications and Further Your Career: A Guide

By David S. Chang

In today’s business world, it is important that employees manage and take of their own careers. It may seem daunting but it isn’t as difficult as it seems. They key is to be so good that they can’t ignore you. In other words, you need to be an invaluable asset and focus on improving the company.

However sometimes this won’t automatically lead to a promotion. Don’t assume you will get a promotion because you have spent a certain amount of time in a position or have the knowledge and intelligence.

Here are some important strategies that can help you on the path to promotion.

Be Clear About Your Career Goals

Your career goals are key to your success. This will help you create a promotion and career progression plan. When you clearly know what you want to aim for, you can focus properly on achieving those milestone.

This doesn’t mean you have to have a certain position in mind. In fact, specific positions can be very difficult to achieve and may change over time. Instead, try to make your goals based on the type of responsibilities you enjoy and are fulfilling. Instead of being CFO of a specific Fortune 500 company, aim instead to be head of finances.

This alleviates the stress of trying to achieve the promotion within a specific company. It also gives you more flexibility to pursue a future career you enjoy. You don’t want to trap yourself into a specific position when another line of work may be better for you.

It is also important to reassess your career goals frequently. As you gain more experience, your values and desires may change and the goals you set when you were younger may no longer be relevant. If you need to adjust your career path, choosing new goals will help you stay focused on what is important and not waste valuable time and resources.

Once you know your career goals and have mapped out your promotion plan, it is important to delineate your long-term and short-term goals and set proper milestones.

1.    Create Long-Term Goals

Long term goals are great at keeping our efforts directed. By making both personal and professional long term goals, you can give your life the direction and purpose you need to lead a fulfilling life. You can’t achieve your long-term goals however without creating actionable steps to help you move forward.

2.    Create Steps or Short-Term Goals

To help you along your way, you will need to try to create short-term goals that will help you achieve your dreams. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Your long-term goals may seem difficult or impossible to achieve. Breaking it down into smaller steps makes it more manageable.

While your long-term goals may not change, your short-term goals will. Be flexible with your short-term goals, be humble and excited to learn. You may find another way to reach your goals. You have no control over tomorrow, just over today.

Determine The Qualifications That You Need

Look at the overall type of position and level of responsibility that you want to have. Then determine the type of qualifications you need. See if your company offers courses or training that will help you gain the qualifications you need.

If not, you can look for online courses, take classes at a local university or community college, or get a mentor that can train you. Look for ways to continue your education, continually improve your skillset and knowledge base.

From gaining a degree to simply attending a conference or workshop – there are plenty of ways to learn more, network better, and make progress in your life.

1.    University/College

Some positions require a higher degree. This will take time and resources. Thankfully, online degrees are available and you can get the best education from an accredited educational institution from home. You could, for example, achieve an online masters in engineering management from Kettering University Online if your career path requires an engineering degree.

Those with graduate degrees such as an MBA can expect to earn over $100k right after graduation. Studies show that those with a Bachelor, Masters, and Doctorate degree earn more throughout their career.

2.    Night Courses

Night courses are great for updating or expanding your knowledge. You can usually take these courses for accreditation at a local college or university. They can be towards a degree or just to brush up on a topic. They can help you keep your expertise sharp and learning something new can be valuable in helping you expand your skillsets.

3.    Workshops/Conferences/Events

For a more career-directed approach, keep an eye out for conference or events in your industry. These conferences may be critical to stay atop the industry you are in and continue developing your contacts and network.

4.    Books

Always read. If you spend time driving to and from work, listen to audio-books. Reading improves your communication skills, improves your knowledge, and boosts your brain power. Countless studies show that reading is crucial to success. Whatever you do, try to make reading a daily habit.

5.    Podcasts

Listen to podcasts are another way to gain knowledge. Many experts, professionals, and authors go in-depth and discuss a wide variety of topics. You can pick up new ideas, know the trends of your industry, and also have an audio accompaniment to entertain you on your commutes.

6.    News

Paying attention to the news can help you direct your company based on current events. If you are in marketing, for example, your team can be on top of any disasters that may impact your industry and customers. This will help you respond accordingly. If you are an accountant then you need to be on top of changes in rules and regulations. The news can also help you understand current trends to help grow the company.

Putting Your Qualifications to Action

Having the correct qualifications is important. It may not however necessarily mean that it will guarantee a promotion. It is important that you follow these strategies to help you plan your career and take proactive steps to put you in the best position for your career.

David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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