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At one time you could depend on just getting into the right company to advance your career. You just needed to start where ever you could and then work your way up. People stayed with one company for most of their life and just moved up the ladder. Today, it is not that simple. People change companies and you are likely to have many different kinds of jobs. You may even change careers several times throughout your life.
If you want to advance your career you need to think differently. You need to plan ahead and take steps with the purpose of moving ahead.
Networking is not only an essential part of getting a job but also part of moving forward within a company or in your career. You can’t stop networking just because you got the job you want. Once you have the job you want though, you need to learn to network within you company. Seek out opportunities to meet new people outside of your department.
One of the ways you can do this is by working on teams. When you work on a team you get the chance to show off your skills. You also get the chance to get to know people and develop relationships that will benefit you in the future. Talk to people in the lunch room. Go for lunch with groups of people. Go to company parties or join the company softball team.
And of course, be ready to talk about the things you have accomplished. Of course, you shouldn’t brag, but if it fits the topic at hand, be proud of what you’ve done and let others know. You can also share ideas, help people problem solve, and offer your time.
Of course, you should always have goals but having goals that address you are going to move up in the company will help you get where you want to be a lot faster. You should have short term and long term goals to help you manage your career. All of your short term goals should help you reach your long term goals. Every goal you work at should bring you closer to your ultimate goal and the position you want to reach in your company.
Don’t forget to write those goals down. They should be measurable. Goals should be related to amounts or money. For example, you could have a goal of meeting 3 new people in the company each month. Or you could set a goal of meeting 3 people in specific departments. Or you could have a goal of reaching a specific salary. Each goal should also have an end date. Without a means of measurement, it is hard to know when you have succeeded!