3 Things You Need to Do to Advance Your Career

Nobody enjoys the feeling of being stagnant in a career. Your professional experience is likely to be more fulfilling when you see regular progression, not to mention that pay increases tend to contribute to achieving a better quality of life.

Nevertheless, growth isn’t something that tends to happen on its own. Particularly in competitive industries, you’ll need to take actions that help demonstrate that you’re a good candidate for continued progression. This doesn’t just mean taking courses and gaining certifications related to your technical abilities. Many of the attributes that make people attractive promotion candidates are related to soft skills.

So, what should you do to advance your career? We’re going to examine three key areas of focus.

Develop Solid Interpersonal Skills

Improving your interpersonal abilities can be a primary area of focus if you want to advance your career. After all, even if you work solo on many projects, there will be times when you need to interact with others. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be a social butterfly. However, being able to demonstrate that you can communicate and collaborate well with a range of people can give company leaders confidence that you can thrive in a more influential position.

If you struggle with day-to-day interactions, it’s worth examining where you can grow. However, if you’re already confident that you’re a skilled communicator, you should focus on more advanced skills. This can include bolstering your conflict management techniques to show that you are an empathetic and considerate colleague who also has diplomatic skills associated with good leadership.

Better interpersonal skills can also be good for establishing opportunities for progression, too. One of the mistakes that tend to cost people promotions is failing to network. Developing interpersonal abilities can help you feel more comfortable in expressing your needs and reaching out to build new professional relationships. Part of the challenge here is finding the balance between interacting with new people in a professional way while also avoiding treating your network relationships transactionally. 

Bolster Your Self-Worth

The term “confidence is key” may be a little overused, but there is some wisdom there. With regard to professional progression, it’s certainly difficult to convince others to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. Not to mention that confidence is often associated with productivity, good communication, and trust. This is why boosting your sense of self-worth is important for career advancement.  

Your focus here shouldn’t be on projecting false confidence or even arrogance. Rather, you’ll find that developing authentic self-esteem can give you the courage to be yourself while also helping you navigate challenging professional scenarios. Learn to recognize and appreciate the quirks in your personality that promote your uniqueness. Avoid comparing yourself unfairly to others. Wherever possible, start basing your expectations for yourself on realistic standards.

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It can certainly be wise to surround yourself with people that are supportive. Yes, look for friends, family, and colleagues that are willing to be honest with you about areas for improvement. But ensure that these people are also going to be your biggest cheerleaders. Having people that encourage you to stretch your ambitions and recognize your positive attributes can be vital to helping you bolster your self-worth. You can then translate this to the workplace in ways that get you noticed by those who can progress your career.

Enhance Creative Skills

Business leaders in any industry want to see that candidates can effectively perform the tasks assigned to them. Your results can certainly contribute to your viability for promotions. However, it’s also worth considering that many companies value employees who are able to think outside of the box and lead to innovation. You can improve your propensity for this by enhancing your creative skill sets.

This isn’t necessarily about being artistic, although that can be a positive component. Rather, you should seek to adopt methods that unlock creative thought processes. Making records of interesting things you observe around you can spark inspiration for fresh ideas. Setting personal constraints, such as deadlines or resource limitations, can force you to find creative solutions for overcoming hurdles or procrastination. It can also be wise to seek mentors who are creative thinkers.

That said, ensuring your creative skills help to advance your career requires you to demonstrate them in the workplace. This involves being willing to take the risks of offering new ideas or trying different methodologies. Accept that you’re not always going to succeed. Then take the plunge anyway. However, you should be regularly assessing the hazards and potential consequences related to your ideas so you can make informed choices.


Advancing your career is often dependent on you taking decisive action to upskill. Building your interpersonal abilities demonstrates your value as a collaborator and team leader. Improving your sense of authentic self-worth can suggest you’re a productive and decisive worker, while also showing leaders you have the confidence to thrive. Developing your creative thinking can be a path to innovative actions that highlight your value to an organization. By focusing on these areas, you are establishing some of the personal and professional elements that can influence success.

Indiana Lee

Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors on a regular basis. Indiana loves experiencing new things and sharing with others what she learns through her writing. You can chat with Indiana on twitter @IndianaLee3