You always dreamed that you’d become someone important and powerful, someone who takes home a big paycheck, someone whose name is whispered with awe. Yet, your dreams haven’t come true. What gives?

Successful careers don’t just happen to anyone; people work hard to achieve their career goals. If your career is going in the direction you hoped – or worse, if your career hasn’t gone anywhere in some time – you might need this guide to help you get to where you want to go.

 

You Lack Goals

Where are you trying to go?

Your career won’t go anywhere if you don’t have a final destination in mind and a roadmap telling you how to get there. Before you make any career moves, it is vital that you put serious thought into what you want your career to look like. Unfortunately, too many people have bad goal-setting habits. Here are a few tips to help you envision the career goals you truly want:

  • Meditate on you. It’s easy to look at what other people have and get jealous – but their success might not be your happiness. You need to perform serious introspection into your values and your motivations to understand the foundations for your goals.
  • Recognise your skills. There are things you can do exceedingly well that other people can’t. Those unique skills will propel your career forward, so you should identify those skills and apply them to your goals.
  • Remember the path. Life isn’t a destination – it’s a journey. Your goals should focus on finding joy throughout your career, not hinge upon a single career event, like a seven-figure salary or prestigious job title.

 

You Aren’t Asking

How do you communicate your goals?

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: An open position would have suited your experience and skill set perfectly, but no one tapped you for the job. While you might put some blame on your superiors for not recognising your achievements and potential, you are most at fault for missing that amazing career opportunity.

For anyone to help you with your career, they need to know which direction you are trying to move. When possible, you should schedule counselling meetings with your superiors to explain how you hope to advance. Undoubtedly, they will offer suggestions to help you along your career path, but more importantly, they will remember your aspirations when new positions open up.

 

You’re Underqualified

What makes you suited for career advancement?

Many people have big dreams but small britches. You might not be going anywhere in your career because you don’t have the credentials to qualify you for better jobs. This often occurs with younger professionals who might have been top of the class in undergrad but lack experience and connections in the real world.

Time and effort are the best remedies for a lack of qualifications. You should expect to spend at least a few years in entry-level positions before you seek better job opportunities. Fortunately, during that period, you can enrol in online MBA programs, which provide you an enhanced education in business-related duties and increase the size and scope of your professional network. Then, when your beginner phase is complete, you can catapult your career into the top tiers.

 


Related: Lost your passion? How to Fall Back Into Love With Your Career

 

You Aren’t Trying

Are you giving it your all?

Work can be frustrating and tiresome – even in a field you are passionate about. Especially in positions where the workload is identical day-in and day-out, it is easy to sink into the monotony without devoting any effort at all to your essential duties. Years could slide by before you realise your career has gone utterly stale.

Successful careers don’t come to those who wait. If you aren’t giving every task 110 percent, you likely won’t see any movement in your career anytime soon. Not only will your extra effort stand out in the high quality of your work, but your bosses will be more apt to notice your hard work and recommend you for better positions sooner.

 

You Have a Bad Attitude

How do you act at work?

Every office has one: the resident grump. There’s always one employee who can’t stop sighing and rolling their eyes; who has a bitingly sarcastic response to every statement; who groans and complains at every request. No one wants to work with the grump, let alone reward the grump with raises and promotions.

If you can’t identify the grump in your office, you might be it. Changing your attitude at work is difficult, especially if people have come to expect a bad attitude from you. Still, by smiling more, accepting more responsibilities gratefully, and adding positivity and enthusiasm to your workplace, you will encourage others to support your career.


This article is contributed by Tiffany Rowe, writer of seekvisibility.com.

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