How to get to the top…and stay there

When it comes to your career, sometimes getting to the top isn’t the hard part – it’s actually staying there that requires the time and effort. So if you’ve worked hard and earned a promotion, how do you now ensure you continue to propel your career upwards? Consider this your roadmap to ongoing career success…

Nurture your professional relationships

Whilst reaching the top is undoubtedly linked to your performance at work, it’s also about the relationships you’ve built along the way – with your direct manager, with your peers, and with important stakeholders.

It’s important to continue to nurture these relationships, as it’s those who you work with on a day-to-day basis who will give you the support you need to thrive in your current position. This may mean arranging to go out for coffee with colleagues, or taking the time to have regular catch-ups with key managers to keep them abreast of what you’re currently working on and most importantly what you’ve managed to achieve.

To avoid veering into gloating territory, try and frame any achievements in the context of how it will benefit the team or the wider company as opposed to just rattling off all the amazing things you’ve done!

How to get to the top and stay there

Look to the next level

What’s the next rung on your career ladder? Identifying the next step you’d like to take in your career will allow you to start preparing now. If you know what’s up ahead, you’ll be able to evaluate your current performance and identify what you need to improve in order to be considered for a promotion further down the track. Also, having something to constantly strive for will help keep you motivated.

Benchmark your skills against those in the job market

Whilst you may be happy in your current role, it’s also important to check in with the current job market from time to time. Keep up to date with the types of skills and qualifications employers require of those in a similar position to yourself or the next position up to ensure that you’re meeting those requirements and are on par (if not exceeding) other candidates. If you remain in a career bubble, you may miss the fact that there are certain gaps in your skillset that need to be filled in order to remain competitive professionally.

Boost your skills

Reaching the top doesn’t mean that you can now sit back and leave your career on autopilot. In order to remain at the top, you need to continue to add to your skillset and consistently improve your qualifications to remain ahead of the pack. Consider signing up for short courses or undertaking a postgraduate degree such as an MBA which will allow you to upskill, broaden your knowledge and also improve your performance at work – all the things that are necessary for you to stay on top and take your career to the next level.

Build up your contacts

To ensure you continue to thrive in your career it’s important to build up a strong network of career contacts. You can do this by attending conferences, joining professional associations and networking at industry events.

Build a solid professional profile online by publishing any tips, theories or insightful musings about your industry and broaden your exposure within your profession. You never know who you might meet along the way and if they could be the one to lead you to your next career opportunity.

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