Job hunting isn’t just about finding a role. It’s about the career path that’s on offer too. With this in mind, having a growth mindset is important at every stage…
Working in the same position for several years can leave you feeling as though you aren’t progressing in your career as quickly as you would be if you were moving between roles. As a specialist admin recruitment agency, we see many business support professionals impacted by this; they start to feel demotivated and these feelings can subsequently begin to negatively impact productivity at work. Unintentionally, employers can often overlook your desire to gain new skills and experience if you are serving their current needs well, but it is in your employer’s interest – as well as your own – to ensure you are progressing in your career.
It is therefore important that you take responsibility for your professional growth by setting out what it is you want to achieve and communicating that effectively to your manager. Here are some points to consider when starting the conversation:
Set yourself specific career goals
Think about where you would like to be in five years’ time and work back from this. Ask yourself: what do I need to achieve each year to get there? By doing this, you will be able to break down bigger career goals into smaller, more achievable steps, which will help you to identify where you might benefit from training. To achieve buy-in from your manager, relate this this back to how this will help you to complete your current tasks more effectively and efficiently.
Take note of your appraisals
Appraisals are not just for your employer to assess your performance. They are helpful for you to identify where your employer considers your strengths and weaknesses to lie and how their assessment might differ to yours. You both might have different ideas of what you consider a job well done, so use this time to align your ideas. This could also be an opportunity for you to ask to take on further tasks that you particularly enjoy or excel at and ask to undertake courses in the areas you feel you could be better at.
An appraisal meeting is also a good opportunity for you to emphasise how you have helped to affect positive change for your manager; good support staff can go unnoticed because everything runs so smoothly! Be your own champion, but be careful not to sound like you’re gloating. This could help to secure you a promotion.
Anticipate changing needs
After working with an employer for several years, you will be familiar with their business and/or home life. You might be able to foresee how external factors will affect how they currently operate, enabling you to see where they might need additional support in the future. For example, adverse economic conditions might mean their business needs to move premises. You may be responsible for managing this move and so might benefit from completing a project management course. Anticipating their changing requirements means that you can be prepared by undergoing training which will benefit your career in the long term.
Do your research
Get to know how your peers have progressed in their roles to get a clear idea of what your next step might look like. Networking could be a useful way of learning about all the possibilities; searching on social networks, such as LinkedIn, is a quick way to find out what additional responsibilities you could take on as part of your current role. By extending your network you might also find someone you admire who could become a career mentor to coach you in taking the next steps.
Being educated and clear on what you want from your current position will do wonders for your career progression, and will also help with any contract negotiation for jobs.
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