When you start with your first entry-level position, you always have high hopes to advance your career. Sometimes, you wait for an opportune moment to make a move, but those may happen far and few between. Rather than get stuck in a rut in your professional life, take calculated risks to try to move forward before you lose the fulfilling nature of your job.
Try New Things
One way that Nina Bhatia, managing director of Centrica Connected Home, learned to move her career upwards came from her innate curiosity. She likes to try new things, and that's a good start to advance your career. Bhatia started as a law graduate from Cambridge University before working for as an analyst at McKinsey & Company in London. After 23 years, she reinvented her career with an MBA degree, working in the public sector in three different industries and then coming to lead the Hive project from Centrica Connected Home. When Bhatia felt complacent or bored, she spurred her career onward by trying something different.
Build Upon Your Experiences
Advance your career by building on your experiences. You may not like your entry-level job at first, but do it well and get a good reference. Learn as much as you can from the job you have. When you feel as if you exhausted all of the learning possibilities at a current position, perhaps it's time to move to something different. This can be a lateral move to a different department, attending a class to get more training or even switching careers altogether. Bhatia's original position at McKinsey & Company is a far cry from what she does at Centrica Connected Home, but she recognized that her time at the first job prepared her for where she is.
Keep Things Exciting and Different
Do something that excites you at work at least once per day. Bhatia says that no two days are the same at her work or in her personal life. That keeps the challenges fresh as she moves through her day-to-day duties.
Say Yes to Projects
When someone at the office asks for volunteers to run projects, say yes. Display good leadership skills by managing people properly, keeping the project within budgetary constraints and think strategically. The day-to-day and mundane tasks in a project are important because they add up to long-term consequences and results months and even years down the road. Saying yes to projects can advance your career if you successfully complete the projects.
Learn to Adapt
Realize that one position isn't going to destroy your career. Learn to adapt to changing conditions in your industry and move on to something different when your current position no longer fulfills your professional goals. Take calculated risks when you see that your current position is in decline and move to something else that seems to be up-and-coming. Moving at the right time can advance your career.
Your professional life is not set to move one way or another in some pre-ordained fashion. Your career is what you make it, so make it a good one. To do that, you may have to advance your career on your own terms when you take a risk to try something different.
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