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Rising up: Plan your next career move in the right way

There comes a time in the career of many executives and senior managers when it becomes clear that the moment has come to take that next step up the ladder. But with hiring intentions and employment at its highest levels since 1971 in the UK, competitions for senior roles is at its most intense.

Here are five ways that you can set yourself up for career success and gain an edge over your fellow candidates.

Make a plan

It might seem painfully obvious, but the old adage ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ is as true today as it ever has been. Write down your career goals and objectives and set a deadline by which you want to achieve them. This will keep you focused and make it easier for you to make informed decisions about the direction you head, after all you cannot afford to leave your career to chance.

Be Realistic

Ambition is very important but knocking the CEO off their perch within a year might be a little unrealistic. Make sure your goals are attainable and avoid the all-or-nothing approach to career progression – target one promotion at time, and before you know it you may well find that your CEO comes knocking in your door when their looking for a successor.

Network effectively

Who you know is just as important as what you know in the promotion stakes. Connect with those people within and outside your current organisation who could help your career whether through industry networking groups, internal committees or online groups such as those found on LinkedIn, for example. These people may not have a role that’s right for you in the here and now, but they mat do so or they could introduce you to someone in their network who does.

Be Specific

Know exactly what you want to achieve. Simply aiming for “more money and greater responsibility” won’t work; how will you know when you have achieved your goal? How much more money do you want to earn, and how long will you give yourself to do this? By setting specific goals you can measure your success – inconsistent goals mean inconsistent progress.

Stay contemporary

Whether you are working in IT, Life Sciences or Pharma, or Management Consultancy for instance, each sector is constantly evolving. Keep your sector knowledge up to date with industry trends and news. Join and actively participate in your industry trade, attend relevant seminars and conferences and use these as an opportunity to network with people who already working in the role that you want for yourself. Attendees will be more welcoming and will spend more time talking with you because there is that connection.

Dip your toe in the promotional waters first

Nobody every dipped both feet into the water, so before you take the leap make sure you understand what you are getting yourself into. Talk to as many people as you can who are actually doing the job that you want and find out everything there is to know about the role. If you don’t, then you may be bitterly disappointed if you find that all your efforts to gain promotion in the first have been in vain.

Setting career objectives is more than simply saying that you ‘want’ to achieve ‘X’ within ‘Y’ timeframe, it’s saying you ‘will’ achieve it and that you have the drive to commit to those goals. If you have your sights set higher, Joseph Executive has a variety roles that may suit your skillset.

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