Most of us like our careers to progress over time: we want more money and more responsibility. You could try and find a job somewhere new, or you could look for opportunities in your own company.
Staying put has many advantages. People know who you are and you’ve already proved your worth. Boosting your internal profile becomes a crucial way to ensure you’re first in line for future opportunities.
Ask for an appraisal
It may be that your company already has an appraisal system that allows you to evaluate your performance. If that’s the case, review your recent feedback and act on any recommendations made by your manager.
If it’s been more than 12 months since your last appraisal, you should ask for a formal review. Ideally this will include feedback from colleagues at all levels, known as a 360 degree review. This is the best way to understand how you’re viewed by the key people you work with.
Take a psychometric test
Another way to gain an unbiased view of your strengths and weaknesses is to take a work-focused psychometric test, such as the profiling offered by Success Dynamics. Many organisations use these in their employment process, but they can be equally useful for employees looking for insights.
For instance, while you might think of yourself as a team player, a psychometric test might revealthat you prefer individual activities and achievements. Or the career path you’re on requires a ‘big picture’ thinker, but the test shows you’re good at focusing on the finer details. Once you’ve identified the weaker areas of your professional persona, you can make a conscious effort to work on them.
Volunteer for cross-team projects
Developing your profile outside your immediate team and areas of responsibility can only enhance your reputation, as long as it doesn’t detract from your day-to-day job. You’ll earn a reputation as someone dedicated to the company who can be relied on in a variety of situations.
Study for a relevant vocational qualification
You may also want to consider improving your knowledge and skills with a relevant vocational qualification. Many people juggle work and study by opting for distance learning. Your company may have a training budget to help with the costs of further study but, if not, many learning providers offer flexible finance options so you can spread the cost. Developing your skills through formal study will not only enhance your confidence and capabilities, it will further demonstrate your commitment.
Boosting your internal profile demands energy, initiative and drive. However, with more focus and involvement at work and a little effort outside of office hours, you can become all but indispensable.