Career Advice

4 Tips on Advancing Your Career Every Year

Every new year makes us ponder about what the new year will be like. The new year always brings with it a sense of change and new opportunities, of growth and renewal. As each year passes, it becomes clear that there is a need to state the unwritten rules for getting ahead once again.

If you’re like most people, it’s obvious to feel confused about how to boost your career because the status quo has changed. The world we know is in constant flux. So, what can you do to make a significant step up in your career this year?

Remember, you’re the one in charge of shaping your career. It’s up to you to take the reins to get ahead.

Here are some tips to consider if you want to advance your career this year and every year!


  1. Create Your Career Timeline

Nobody stumbles upon success just like that. You may stumble upon opportunities, but all success stories have one thing in common – a plan.

You probably have heard throughout your career that you’re good at your job, you produce exceptional results, and you are extremely competent. You might be surprised, however, that this kind of recognition doesn’t necessarily guarantee success.

The reality is that talent, results, and competence aren’t just enough to attain the success you deserve. So, it’s time you took control of your professional future.

First, try to establish a timeline for the things you want to achieve in your career in the next five years, ten years, and so on. For instance, if you wish to change your career, develop a career timeline. Be very clear about what you want and take some time to think about what makes you happy and what you wish you could change.

Explore the following questions before turning your goals into action plans:

  • What skills have you consistently used?
  • What roles and responsibilities have you enjoyed the most? Enjoyed the least?
  • What according to you makes a job more enjoyable or rewarding?
  • What makes you dislike a job?
  • What areas from past experiences would you like to explore more?

Planning can be less stressful if you prepare before you make the decisions. Identify the things you need to do to advance your career, then break things down into smaller, specific tasks that can be accomplished quickly.

Why set long-term and short-term goals? You may think defining long-term and short-term goals is a waste of time. But that’s not true. A future without planning can be a chaotic one. Formulate your goals correctly and this increases your chances of reaching your goals.


  1. Create Impactful Goals and Focus on the Results That Matter

The truth is you cannot achieve anything if you don’t aim for something. Whether you’re starting out in a new role or biding time until you can land your dream job, setting your goals is the first step to achieving the success you deserve. If you want to take your career up a notch, you need to set specific, measurable goals that can provide a path to help your career grow. These goals are statements that you can set for your professional growth.

Why is creating goals important? Just like you have goals in your life, career goals set you on a path to personal and professional development. It is important because it gives you a framework to achieve milestones and provides a path to achieve things in your career journey. Apart from getting more job opportunities, here are some reasons why creating goals is important:

  • It pushes you towards your target to help you achieve your larger goals.
  • It helps you utilize your time more effectively and efficiently.
  • It helps you improve your skills which can easily transfer into your professional life.
  • It helps you find a purpose and motivates you to do something to fulfill that purpose.
  • It gives you a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.
  • Having a clearly defined career goal helps you eliminate procrastination for good.
  • It makes you feel fulfilled by your job and helps you plan out your professional future.

Setting career goals can be a challenge if you have been in the same position for many years, but there are some ways to prepare yourself. So, before you jump in, identify your past goals and determine if they still align with your career path. Evaluating your past experiences and goals may set you on a path to your future goals.

Are Vanity Metrics useful? A vanity metric makes you look good to others but it doesn’t help you evaluate your own performance in a way that informs future strategies or present success. The metric shows that your efforts are making a difference but it doesn’t tell you exactly what that difference is. Also, the numbers are easy to manipulate which makes it difficult to measure actual success in regards to your overall goals.

It is never too early to start setting goals, trying to learn new skills, and looking at what you can do to achieve your goals. The point is to be able to achieve the goals you set and focus on the results that matter. Even if you find your goals challenging, be pragmatic about it and try to make them achievable.


  1. Learn New Skills

As technology continues to advance, learning new skills is critical for career advancement. The goal of enriching your career takes a series of steps, including learning new skills. Boosting your career can only happen when you know how to prepare yourself for success.

No matter what you’ve achieved at work over the years, your current position is your starting point. Learning new skills will not only help you succeed at work but also keep your interest levels high. It helps you stay ahead of the curve and ensures your future career success.

What are the benefits of learning new skills? There are tons of benefits of learning new skills, no matter what industry you specialize in.

  • It helps prevent boredom and stagnation.
  • It helps you become more adaptable and open to change.
  • It gives you a sense of achievement and motivates you.
  • It gives you more options to transition into different roles.
  • It helps you stay up-to-date with advances and new technological changes.

Remember, each individual is different. He/she has different skills, abilities, needs, and desires. So, take time to identify and develop the specific skills that you need. Your readiness and your ability to make changes are the factors that influence the opportunities in career development.

What are the skills that will get you from point A to B? You need to understand what skills can help you achieve your professional goals and advance in your career. Your professional skills can be broken down into two main groups:

  • Job-specific skills – Each job requires a different skill set, abilities, and knowledge. For example, an accounting job requires proficiency in accounting software.
  • Transferable skills – These are skills that may be used in a variety of roles or positions and which you develop as you progress. For example, personal skills like teamwork, communication, adaptability, decision making, problem-solving, and so on are all transferable skills.

You must also acquire skills outside of your domain skills that can multiply opportunities and help you grow. Above all, set deadlines for achieving each of your targeted skills.

Why do deadlines matter? Deadlines are important for almost any task and any role. Not setting outcome goals is what stands in the way of many of us learning new skills. Setting a deadline is what drives people to action. Learning a new skill takes time and you need to invest a minimum amount of time to acquire that skill. Knowing how much it takes to achieve a goal will help you assess and plan yourself better.


  1. Update Your Resume

There are many components that determine whether or not you will make a meaningful impact. It’s important to create the right image of yourself by taking control of how others see you. And what better way to do that than by showcasing your most relevant and valuable skills, experiences, and qualities through a well-crafted resume.

Why is keeping your resume updated important? You may be a recent high school or college graduate looking for your first-ever full-time job. Or you may be an experienced professional looking for a career change. Regardless of your circumstances, one thing is certain. You should refresh your resume regularly and not only when you apply for jobs.

The purpose of a resume is to communicate your qualifications to prospective employers. It helps them understand more about you. Thus, your resume should highlight the unique blend of skills, experience, strengths, and accomplishments that make you stand out. If you’re looking for that added edge in today’s competitive job market, you can always seek out expert advice from resume writers. Having your resume written by a professional is really worth it.

There are some general tips to keep in mind when updating your resume. Your resume should:

  • Clearly state your professional objective.
  • Communicate your major strengths and quantifiable accomplishments.
  • Include all the recent and relevant skills mastered.
  • Include your certifications and credentials you may have obtained.
  • Include your accomplishments or awards (if any) that are prestigious or well-known.
  • Not be longer than two pages, unless otherwise specified.
  • Be clear, concise, and easy to read.

Your resume is the most important career document you have, so it’s important to review it for any outdated information and to update each section as necessary.

Do resume formats matter? A good resume format is an important element of a professional, readable resume. There are a couple of ways to format your resume. One of the first decisions you should make is to choose from different styles of resumes – chronological, functional, and combination style.

The chronological format is hands-down the most common and the best resume format. It focuses primarily on your work experience, listing the positions you have held in reverse order with the most recent one first. Your work history is listed by job title, beginning with your most recent job. This type of resume works best for those who want to showcase a steady employment history. However, what resume you choose will depend on your particular situation.


Final Thoughts

When it comes to career development, you could use all the advice you can get. From picking the right career to actually excelling in it, it takes a lot to grow your career. One’s career growth signifies one’s professional development.  Many individuals strive to advance their careers through learning new skills and making connections. Remember, each individual’s career path may be different and opportunities come in a variety of ways. And this is where we’ve got you covered.


Written by:

Liz Hogan is the Content Outreach Manager and a certified resume writer at Find My Profession. She regularly shares her advice on job search and resumes writing with others. She is also passionate about volunteering and learning new languages.