Justin Beilby, the Torrens University Vice-Chancellor, shares his advice on the steps you can take to achieve the career goals you have in mind.
1) Identify your ‘personal brand’
What is it that makes you the person you are, and how can that benefit the organisation you work for? “Your personal brand is an indicator of everything you have to offer an employer, including the contributions and value they can expect you to bring to the workplace,” Justin says. The brand you communicate will set a benchmark for your career reputation and will also provide a clear focus for your own personal development.
2) Set SMART goals
You might be hardworking and ambitious, but to get the most out of your career, you need to be SMART – that is, set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. “We all have career goals that we are working towards, but SMART goal setting is really valuable for self-improvement and motivation,” Justin says. “It can really help you hone in on exactly where it is you want to go and what you need to do to get there.”
3) Consider further education
One way for you to get ahead in your career is to undertake postgraduate study. “Having an MBA qualification or similar on your CV is something that does stand out to employers and may help you to progress further in the interview process,” Justin says. “An MBA also gives you higher earning potential and will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to become a successful leader.”
4) Attend industry networking events
One of the best ways to grow in your career is by interacting with others from your industry – whether its your peers, competitors or the people you admire. Interacting with people from all levels can be beneficial to achieving your career goals. “Attending networking events is a good opportunity to get to know people and for them to get to know you. You never know who might end up interviewing you for a future role,” Justin notes.
5) Find a mentor
While it’s important to regularly seek professional advice and guidance from people you trust, Justin suggests that seeking out a formal mentor may also help you progress in your career. “Taking advice from someone who has been in your shoes previously and now has the type of career you are ultimately seeking is invaluable. You could consider asking a senior executive at your current workplace, or approaching someone from the industry whose career you admire. Mentors generally provide mentees with meaningful opportunities for growth and development and they can teach you a great deal both personally and professionally,” says Justin.
6) Work smarter, not harder
Quite simply, the more you put in, the better the chances of career doors opening for you. That doesn’t mean you have to put in 12 hour days, but it does mean being strategic about how you manage your time in order to demonstrate the value you bring to an organisation. “Offering to provide support on projects being run by senior stakeholders or putting your hand up for tasks that are outside of the scope of your role can be a great way to get noticed,” says Justin. “Going above and beyond the call of duty demonstrates great initiative. Just make sure your employer is aware of the additional effort you are putting in, because when those opportunities for promotion do come around, chances are you’ll already be firmly in their sights.”