10 Practical Steps for Career Progression in 2023
The last couple of years have been rough on the workplace. Redundancies, company restructuring and rapid technological transformation, have forced many employees to frequently reskill, upskill and even change jobs to remain relevant.
New research from Workplace Intelligence and Amazon shows that 58% of employees are afraid that their skills have gone stale since the pandemic started, while 70% feel unprepared for the future of work. As we move into 2023, however, workers are laser-focused on remedying this situation. An impressive 89% said they were motivated to improve their skills, and 88% are already putting a significant amount of time and effort into this.
If you’re looking for a promotion, more responsibility at your current job, or to explore a new industry altogether, it’s important to know how to take action and meet those goals. This article shares ten steps you can take to supercharge your career progression.
10 steps to accelerate your career
1) Set goals and create a career roadmap
A career development plan – or roadmap – creates a framework for your development by outlining where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there. Consider your personal interests, values, and financial resources, then define what success means to you – is it reaching the C-Suite, or simply finding a fulfilling career that pays well? Create a chart of each position and title you’ve held up to now, and then fill in the blanks of where you want to be in one, five and even ten years. Link short- and long-term goals to a timeline to keep you on track to achieve them.
FourthRev Employer Partner, Robert Walters, has some great tips on how to create a plan for your career.
2) Ask your manager to work on a detailed career growth plan
Managers and tech leads are busy, but it’s in their interest to support their reports in all aspects of their careers and lives. Set up an initial 30-minute session with your manager to raise issues that are stopping you from taking steps to achieve your goals, and communicate where you want to be. By engaging with your manager and letting them know what your aspirations are, you put yourself on their radar.
If you’re unsure where to start, check out this template for creating a practical career progression plan.
3) Position yourself online
Your positioning on social networks and websites can create opportunities if you do it right. When setting up a LinkedIn profile, for example, use keywords associated with the career you want to boost your presence in recruiters’ searches. Update your status frequently with engaging links and insights, and post relevant articles to boost your profile views.
If you’re active on other social channels, cross-post this content to your other accounts to improve your reach and recognition. This will help establish you as an expert in the field.
4) Set time aside just for learning
Learning is essential to practical career progression, but you must make time for it. You could approach your employer for an agreed sabbatical to study or gain work experience abroad, filling gaps in your CV. Or, you could ask for dedicated study leave days once a quarter. If that’s not possible, evaluate how much time you can reasonably set aside during the evening or weekend to take online courses or fine-tune a specific skill.
Subscribing to relevant publications and committing ten minutes a day to reading is perhaps the easiest way to keep you in the loop on industry developments and trends.
5) Engage with a mentor
A mentor can help you stay focused on your career and improve your skills and self-confidence. Some larger organisations have mentor or alumni management software where you can connect with people who are in more senior positions. If your current organisation doesn’t offer this, start by researching inspiring leaders and approach them via a cold email or social media.
Alternatively, you could register as a mentee on a mentor-matching platform, like Meet-a-Mentor.
6) Get a Career Coach
A Career Coach helps you understand what you want to get out of your career and overcome ways of thinking or behaving that might be holding you back from achieving your professional goals. They’ll help set you on the path to holistic career success by looking at your strengths, values and career drivers. Career Coaches can help you develop key outcomes, such as building an effective LinkedIn profile, CV, brand statement and cover letter. Generally, Career Coaches are also versed in soft skill cultivation, helping you develop leadership and networking abilities.
Here’s more insight into how a Career Coach can help you build a more fulfilling career.
7) Follow notable people on LinkedIn and Twitter
Twitter is a thriving career hub with thousands of knowledgeable people tweeting about tech news and trends and leadership advice. Follow companies and leaders you’d like to work for to get to know them better. If their DMs are open, approach these experts about how they broke into the industry and the skills they’ve developed at their job. Add these skills to your career progression plan as must-haves.
LinkedIn is great for finding inspiring people who do the job you dream of. Analyse their experience, activity, education, interests, skills – everything on their page – to see how they got to where they are.
To start you off, here’s a good list of Twitter and LinkedIn career influencers to follow.
8) Attend or arrange a meetup
Meetups are a great, informal way to do some serious professional networking. You will meet people in your industry or in an entirely different profession that might prompt you to consider a career shift. These events are also a place to learn about new business opportunities and establish working relationships with potential employers, partners and clients.
If there are no meetups in your field of interest, set one up. This can be a speed networking and business matchmaking night, a mutual learning meetup, or a casual get-together of people with a common interest.
9) Attend online conferences and events
Conferences and external events offer valuable knowledge about your industry and allow you to see the bigger picture. They allow you to meet thought leaders, network with others interested in the same learning path and discover new ways of thinking about your job.
Eventbrite has an updated list of tech-related events and conferences in London. Alternatively, try UK-based techUK, which brings together people and organisations to explore the positive outcomes and opportunities of digital technology.
10) Refresh your CV and craft a personal brand statement
Go back to your CV and add all your recent relevant experience, courses you’ve taken and new skills you’ve developed, including soft skills.
Prepare a strong personal brand statement for the top of your CV, where it will catch recruiters’ attention. This can also be used in emails, your personal website, or your LinkedIn page. A personal brand statement comprises three key sections: what you do, what value you offer, and what you’re looking for next.
Here are some great tips for crafting a brand statement.
Take the next step in your career
If you’re looking for an online programme that will equip you with the technical, business and human skills you need to thrive in the digital economy and provide you with the support you need to gain clarity on what your long-term ambitions are, take a look at our Career Accelerators. Please feel free to reach out to one of our friendly Enrolment Advisors if you’d like to get more information.