The start of a new year is a great time for reflection and goal setting, but unless you follow it up with action, things will likely stay the same. This is especially true when it comes to your career – and if you’ve decided 2018 is the year you’ll land that dream promotion, you’ll need a plan of action to make it happen.
Creating a plan that finds a balance between challenging and achievable can set you on the right path and help you fast track your way to the top. But there’s more to it than that – you’ll also need to make some key connections and get noticed by the right people. So, if you’re ready to progress your financial career, here are 5 key steps to follow to get that promotion faster.
1. Start with an Honest Assessment
Before you forge ahead, it’s important to review where you’re at to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. You’ll often find that those in the C-Suite have a passion and purpose about what they do to match their ambition, and this is a key driver of long-term success. If you’re still on the fence as to whether the finance industry is for you, you’ll likely struggle to get to the top, no matter how solid your plan is. Ask yourself if you have the passion – and if so, go for it.
2. Create an Achievable Career Plan
You give yourself a definite advantage when you have a well-crafted career plan. It should include your goals and clearly state exactly how and when you’ll achieve them. Breaking your plan up into quarterly, or short (3-6 months), medium (6-24 months) and long-term (3-5 years) goals is smart, as looking too far ahead can be overwhelming. Include the specific tasks or actions you’ll need to perform to achieve each goal and tick them off as you go. That way, you’ll build momentum, stay focused and can easily track your progress.
3. Build a Network of Supportive People
Having people around that you can bounce ideas off and lean on is crucial to your success. This starts at home, with the support of your family. Be sure to discuss your plans with the people close to you, and any effect they might have on your personal life to ensure you have their support. At work, a mentor who shares their experience and industry knowledge, and provides advice and guidance to help you make sound decisions is invaluable. Finding a sponsor in the workplace can also give you a huge advantage. They can introduce you to the right people, and open doors that might otherwise have been firmly shut. This can be the difference between a long, hard climb or shorter road to your dream job.
Build a network of support to help achieve your career goals.
4. Make the Most of Your Internal Resources
If you feel comfortable doing so, it can be beneficial to share your career aspirations with your manager. In most cases they’ll want to see you succeed and will be happy to keep an ear out for any suitable opportunities. They also have an intimate knowledge of how you operate and understand your strengths and weaknesses better than most, which makes them ideally positioned to point you in the right direction. Also look for ways to extend your internal network by getting involved in group activities, committees or special projects. When you target these additional efforts wisely, they will not only boost your skills, but may also introduce you to others in the company who can help you move forward.
5. Show What You Can Do Without Showing Off
To get your promotion, you’ll need demonstrate your abilities in front of the decision makers. But how do you get their attention? We’ve already discussed how sponsors and extra activities can help, but doing your job exceptionally well (and letting someone know about it) remains the most important objective. However, there is a fine line between sharing your accomplishments and bragging. Don’t overdo it, or you might find yourself going backwards,
Don’t Just Dream… Get Started Today
If you’re excited by the prospect of achieving your finance career goals in 2018, don’t let the weeks slip by or your enthusiasm will fade – take the first step today. Assess where your career is currently at, then put together a clear plan that shows you how to get to where you want to be. Work hard and make the connections you need to get noticed by the right people – and who knows where you might be this time next year.
If you’d like some expert career advice specific to your circumstances, get in touch with our friendly team today for a confidential chat.
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