If you feel that glass ceiling looming above you on the career ladder, maybe it’s time to look into ways to boost your career credentials. Here are several to consider:
It is critically important—and, in some professional and technical fields, required—that you keep your knowledge up to date through continuing education. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go back to school to earn an expensive graduate degree, but if you employer offers tuition assistance, look into it. If you work in a scientific or technical field, international standards often undergo reevaluation and updates with new discoveries and improvements. For example, people who work in corporate, academic, or industrial laboratories may need an update in laboratory quality control training. Demonstrate your commitment to staying current with standards and best practices in your field by taking a course on updated international standards or by earning a certificate that shows you’ve updated your skills or added new ones.
Find a mentor
Career advisors have been drilling the importance of networking and mentorship into job-seekers for decades. Find a mentor who is both genuinely interested in your success and impartial about your strengths and weaknesses. Get advice on skills you can add, the impression you make and how you can improve it, and opportunities you may have overlooked. Update your LinkedIn page and share your expertise; you may work your way up to becoming recognized as a “thought leader” in your field.
Become active in your professional organization
In addition to required continuing education, your professional organization may offer many opportunities for professional development and networking. Attend a professional conference, make new contacts, or complete a program that provides a concrete level of achievement that your professional association recognizes as advanced in your field.
Ask for more responsibility
This can sometimes be a trap for women, who often volunteer to take on more work and never receive the recognition they deserve. Nonetheless, keep track of your accomplishments and demonstrate to your supervisor that you can do more and that you’re ready and eager to take on greater responsibility.
These are just a few ways to boost your career credentials. Determine your desired career path—whether it’s with your current company or a new one—and make a plan to pursue goals that include networking, mentorship, professional development and continuing education, and certification. You may find yourself with new responsibilities, enhanced earnings, and greater career satisfaction.
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