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Feeling Stagnant? Here’s How To Progress In Your Career

Maddie Brindley-Slater
7 October 2021

If you’re feeling like you’re struggling with your career, whilst everyone around you is seemingly flying, you’re not alone. According to The Institute For Fiscal Studies, today’s young workers are starting out in their careers in much lower positions than their older cohorts did at the start of their careers, meaning it takes the workers of today a lot longer for their careers to take off then it did in previous generations.

Looking up towards the top of the ladder, whilst feeling like you’re stuck at the bottom rung can be draining. Fear not however, as there are some steps you can take to help you progress in your career.

We’ve compiled our top 6 tips on how to start excelling in your career below.

Career progression 2

Get feedback from appraisals

Although not always standard procedure with all companies, getting feedback in the form of an appraisal can be one of the most useful tools readily available to you.

Shockingly, Onrec report that 24% of UK employees have never had an appraisal in their current role. If you’re not already receiving or requesting regular feedback from your manager, we recommend requesting an initial review, along with several follow ups, so you can gauge your progress.

Scheduling appraisals allows your manager to feedback on areas that may be holding you back, as well as where you’re excelling. Regularly checking in allows you to measure each area of improvement and also gives you a voice.

We would all struggle to understand what is expected of us if we never received feedback – give your job progression prospects a boost with work appraisals.

Set goals & write them down

How often do you set yourself goals? Have you heard that writing down goals and checking in with them frequently leads to better and faster results?

A study from Dominican University in California shows that individuals who write down goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. Work towards targets in a methodical manner by setting staged goals broken down into weeks, months & years.

We recommend utilising the feedback given in appraisals to guide your goal setting. Is organisation your weak area? Set a daily goal of achieving everything on your to do list in a timely, orderly manner. Whatever your weaknesses, use goal setting as a means to overcoming and improving these areas.

Write down your goals and that promotion may not be too far off after all.

Remove distractions

Focus and hard work are some of the key elements needed to succeed. Do you sit at your desk all day next to a chatty colleague? Or has the no phone rule in your home office started to slide? Our top tip for productivity, which should ultimately lead to progression is removing all distractions.

Worryingly, Lifehack report that 70% of all workers feel distracted at work. With this in mind, we recommend having a neat and tidy workspace, with minimal opportunities for distraction. That means moving desks away from colleagues or wearing headphones so you can concentrate on key tasks. Keep your phone away in a drawer if you’re tempted to check it too often.

All this is not to say that you can’t enjoy chatting to colleagues or checking your phone, simply set yourself breaktimes throughout the day where you allow yourself to do this. Remember: progress in your career comes from dedication & focus.

Improve your skillset

According to The Department For Education, 13% of UK employers report skills gaps in their workforce.

One way of improving your chances of receiving that promotion and progressing higher up the career ladder is improving your skillset. Whether offered by your employer as part of a learning and development scheme, or off your own back, there are ample opportunities to continue learning and developing throughout your career.

Ways of learning new skills include; self-taught resources such as books and online articles. If you prefer to be taught, consider part time learning and online classes. Finally, there is in-person and on the job learning, through shadowing colleagues or sitting in with other departments.

Taking the time to upskill can be a great way of benefiting you and your career, whilst giving you additional tools to set you apart. Take it upon yourself to develop your skillset, and career progression will follow.

Get a coach or mentor

In this day & age, lots of people rely on insight and knowledge from the internet, but have you ever considered working 1-2-1 with your own career coach & mentor? A real person - someone that knows you and your situation on a personal level, and can provide bespoke advice, specifically tailored to you.

WIRED state that two thirds of Fortune 500 companies offer mentorship programmes for their employees, which shows some of the biggest & most successful corporations understand the value of career coaching & mentoring.

The insight and guidance you can receive from someone with more experience than you can be invaluable. With over 100 experts from a range of specialisms, we have a whole host of support available to help you progress - explore our experts here. You can always rely on an expert to guide you through career struggles.

Don’t get complacent

Lastly, if you’re looking to progress further in your job, ensure that you remain dedicated and engaged. Ntask suggest that only 13% of global workers are fully engaged with work, so remain on the beat to ensure you stand out amongst colleagues.

When you feel like career development is a slow struggle, you may feel like there’s no point in trying. But remember - it takes hard work and continuous effort to succeed in your career. Make sure you are fully engaged, willing to improve and open to feedback. Follow the above tips and work with your own career mentor & coach, and you’ll be on track in no time!

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