Most of us want to grow our careers, in some capacity. Perhaps moving up the ladder means more financial freedom, or a different social standing, or even a more fulfilling/challenging role. Whatever the reason, we all want to expand our knowledge, learn something new, prove our worth and progress our careers.
But with strong competition for jobs in the construction and infrastructure sectors, you can’t just rely on people spotting your talent. To grow in your career, you need to have a plan and follow it.
But…how do you get started? In this blog, we are going to look at ten ways you can develop your career to ensure you get the promotion or job you deserve. These tips work in all industries, so regardless of whether you’re an architect or engineer, looking to develop your project management abilities, or a skilled trade… here are the steps you should consider.
1. Develop a roadmap
You won’t get very far if you don’t know where you’re going. Start by assessing where you are and where you want to go, then work out a roadmap for getting there. This exercise will also help you identify areas where you need to develop your skills or achieve qualifications.
It’s important to be realistic here and consider what you need to work on, how long it’ll take and how much experience you’ll need. Think of the steppingstones, after all, most of us won’t become a CEO overnight.
2. Build relationships
Develop relationships with key people/decision-makers in your industry and companies that fit your culture and passion. This will help you build knowledge and develop your personal network.
Remember, building relationships is often not about what’s in it for you, but in the first instance how you can help the other person – so try to suspend self-interest. Share information, articles and your perspective on key industry issues with your network and engage with them. Don’t underestimate how doing this over a sustained period can improve your personal brand.
3. Take risks
All great leaders take risks. So, get into the habit of challenging yourself to move out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of failing or looking stupid. You will learn from each failure and move closer towards your goal.
As basketballer, Michael Jordan, famous said, “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
4. Be reliable
Reliability goes a long way. You need to show that you are capable of carrying out the job at hand and completing it on time, every time. So, don’t make agreements you can’t meet and don’t commit to something unless you are sure you can pull it off.
5. Identify gaps
All companies have gaps – such as management, recruitment or technical gaps – identify where these are and then look to fill them. Learn the skills you need to fill the gap and soon you’ll become the go-to person in that area.
This needs to be done deftly, however, trying not to step on the toes of management or your colleagues. There may be a good reason why this gap exists and plans in place to fill it. Be a fixer, not a troublemaker.
6. Show what you are capable of
It’s not about what you say you can do, but what you actually can do. So always be prepared to go the extra mile when completing tasks. This will prove you are both capable and reliable.
Again, be realistic here and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Scope tasks properly and ensure you have the resources you need to complete the tasks within the timeframes.
7. Always be learning
You should always be looking to learn new things and develop your skillset. Your roadmap should help you identify which areas you need to focus on developing.
As we become more senior, we often need to acquire different skills, like managing teams/people, business management, public speaking etc. Or if you’re a technical person you may need to keep up to date with research, new practices, and technologies.
As part of the roadmap, consider your next role and what you need to be successful. If you’re not sure, look at people currently doing the job you want, and consider the gaps in your own skillset. For example, do they manage large budgets? And subsequently, do you have experience, skills or qualifications in this area at the right level? If not, find a way to fill/bridge this gap.
8. Don’t dwell on past mistakes
Hey… we all make mistakes but don’t let them hold you back. We have a habit of worrying about mistakes, thinking they make us look incompetent. But the fact is no one else is thinking about our mistakes as much as we are. Everyone makes mistakes, the trick is to learn from them and move on.
You can even turn them into a plus, by being able to demonstrate how you turned the situation around. This is often quality employers look for and can become a great anecdote.
9. Help others
Growing your career means developing your people skills. Helping other people will help you grow as an individual and you’ll develop respect from your peers, which will bode well when you reach your desired position. Remember that as you help others, they may move on and up, which will help in building/improving your personal network.
10. Develop your leadership skills
Leadership skills are one of the most important skills to master. If you can show you are an effective leader, you will achieve promotion to a management position much more quickly.
If you think you are ready for the next step in your career, a conversation with an industry-specific recruitment specialist is a logical step.
CGC Recruitment is a specialist consultancy with offices in Sydney and Brisbane and we can help. We specialise in fulfilling roles in the construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture sectors at all levels. As a leading industry recruiter, we always have a long list of opportunities for ambitious and professional individuals.
You can search our latest vacancies here, or alternatively, upload your CV and we’ll contact you when we have a suitable vacancy available.