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How do you take the next step in your career? What strategy do you use when looking for an internal or external role? What things should you keep in mind?

1/ Use your review

Your employer should have a performance review process. As part of this process you should get the opportunity to discuss the next steps in your career. You should take this opportunity to have a frank conversation with your line manager about what the possibilities of progression are in the organisation and what you need to do to achieve this. If you don’t have a formal review process or this isn’t deemed an appropriate forum then ask to set some time with your manager to discuss your career path.

2/ Check the intranet

Most organisations will advertise all vacancies internally before looking externally. This is normally done on your companies’ intranet, so check this on a regular basis and apply for relevant roles. If you are applying for a position outside your current department, let your line manager know out of courtesy - you never know this could prompt them to start thinking about your next steps if they don’t want to lose you.

3/ Follow the trends

If your duties change in your role you can use this as an opportunity to have a career review. However, going above and beyond your standard job description can often get you noticed by decision makers who will take this into account when considering promotions. An example of this would be to be aware of trends within your industry such as the use of new technology and developing some expertise in this area. You never know, it is possible to create a job for yourself that hasn’t existed previously. Make sure you use your skills and passion to your advantage.

4/ Keep track of your successful projects

No one likes a show off. However it is important that your line manager and those above them are aware of significant achievements or changes that you have brought to the organisation. Be sure to highlight to your direct manager any successes that you have and ensure that you keep a record of these for any future reviews or interviews. Regardless of whether you have just started your career or are a Senior Executive, training adds values at all levels.

5/ Take trainings

Your organisation is likely to have core training and optional training programmes. You should review all training available to you and chose to do courses that are most relevant to your career. You can also look at doing an external qualification to improve your skills and often your company will assist you with this.

6/  And Finally, don’t make yourself indispensable

You might think that being the only person in the organisation able to do a certain task is a good thing as it means that they can’t get rid of you. On the flip side, being indispensable means that you can’t progress, as they can never backfill your role. So make sure that you have identified someone who can move into your position that you can groom as a successor.