14 Tips to Progress Your Career and Grow Your Income

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Progressing in your career often involves handling more tasks, advancing to a higher role or receiving excellent performance ratings. There are several strategies that you can use to achieve career progression. Reviewing tips to progress your career may help you achieve your professional goals and feel satisfied with your position. In this article, we discuss why it's important to progress in your career and provide you with a list of tips to help you do so.

Why it is important to use tips to progress your career?

Following tips to progress your career can help you achieve your goals strategically. This way, you can earn a higher position within a company, move to a different department, handle more responsibilities or seek new challenges in your current position. Here are several reasons why it's important to progress your career:

  • Increase career satisfaction: You may feel a higher amount of satisfaction after progressing in your career. The opportunities and challenges you may face in leadership roles can strengthen your skills and grow your experience.

  • Improve employee retention rate: Employers may improve their employee retention rate by allowing professionals to progress in their careers. A new goal can help you feel more engaged with your work and deliver better results.

  • Grow transferrable skills: Career progression may help you strengthen transferrable skills, like adaptability and productivity, since you may handle new challenges.

  • Promote professional development: Employers that encourage career progression motivate employees to learn new things and expand their skills.

14 tips for career progression

Here are some tips to help you progress in your career:

1. Look for leadership opportunities

To help you achieve career progression, consider looking for leadership opportunities in your workplace. By doing so, you can show management that you're an effective leader, which may compel them to provide you with more responsibilities. Consider speaking with your supervisor about leadership programmes where you may mentor an entry-level employee. Take part in the onboarding process to meet new employees and provide them with valuable guidance.

2. Shadow a member of the leadership team

Consider shadowing a leader in your workplace, like a manager or board member. While shadowing them, you witness their responsibilities and observe the skills they use to perform their job. You may adopt these skills into your own work routines to increase your work performance.

3. Seek feedback on your performance

It's useful to seek feedback regularly on your performance so that you can identify areas of improvement. By improving your performance, you may be more likely to progress in your career. Consider asking your manager for a one-on-one meeting or written documentation about your performance. Request feedback often to learn how to refine your skills.

4. Work in a different department

Develop a diverse skill set that you can use to handle numerous responsibilities. Consider working in a different department to expand your knowledge of the company's practices. This can also help you grow your network and learn about that department's processes.

For example, if you work for a construction company, you may shadow an employee in the finance department so that you can understand how to budget for a construction project and order materials. This way, you can further expand your skills and experience, which can prepare you to work in a leadership role.

Related: How to Improve Your Networking Skills To Build a Good Network

5. Take part in training opportunities

Companies often conduct routine training where employees can learn about new advancements in their field or review information about their duties. If your workplace offers employee development programmes, consider taking part in them to further develop your career. This way, you can also demonstrate your determination to achieve career progression.

Related: Your Online Career Coach: Advanced Job Search Tips to Get the Job

6. Update your resume

To help you progress your career, it may be useful to apply to higher positions as you gain the proper skills and qualifications. As you find new positions, be sure to update your resume with new achievements, skills and experience. This shows hiring managers that you're a valuable candidate. You may also include information about training courses that you took part in or seminars that you attended. Showcasing your professional development in your resume is a great way to set yourself apart from other professionals in the field.

7. Perform a duty that's outside your area of expertise

Perform a duty that challenges you or complete an assignment that differs from your standard work duties. This can show management that you're eager to progress in your career and handle more responsibilities. Consider volunteering to complete a task for the first time. Being proactive also shows that you're a dependable team member. You may also perform in a role that you're unfamiliar with on your team, like a leadership role or research specialist, while working on a project.

Related: 14 Personal Development Examples (With Workplace Goals)

8. Set goals

It's important to set goals to attain while progressing in your career. To help you achieve your goals, consider creating a career development plan, which is a written list of events that you can perform to develop your skills. Some employers create career development plans with employees or you can create your own plan that represents your journey towards attaining your career ambitions.

In your plan, be sure to describe your goals clearly, such as securing a position, developing a specific skill or gaining experience. Next, list the steps you can take to achieve them. Keep in mind that you may have several goals to achieve by the end of your career, like becoming a manager, mentoring 20 employees or achieving a certain wage. Writing your goals may help you visualise strategies to achieve them.

Related: What Is a Career? (Plus Tips for Career Advancement)

9. Grow your network

A professional network is a group of connections within your field that may share similar career goals or interests. You can reach out to individuals in your network to get their advice on career progression, which may give you ideas on how to advance your role and develop your skills. Here are some ways that you can grow your network successfully:

  • join a professional organisation in your industry

  • attend company events

  • participate in industry conferences or seminars

  • provide professionals with a business card that has your contact details

Related: 11 Types of Networking Events (And Tips for Attending Them)

10. Offer help to your colleagues

Consider offering assistance to colleagues that are working on a complex assignment. This can strengthen your teamwork skills and dependability, which are both excellent leadership qualities. You may also develop transferrable skills by working on unfamiliar. Encourage your colleagues to ask for your help so that you can establish a supportive team dynamic.

11. Pursue an advanced degree

Pursuing an advanced degree may help you expand your knowledge of your industry and grow your skills. Consider researching valuable degrees in your field, like master's degrees and certifications, to see which qualification may benefit you the most in your career. Then, perform research to find a programme that is a good fit for you. You may contact educational institutions to discuss programme details, like if the programme is online or in person. Be sure to discuss your intention to continue your education with your management team, since some companies have tuition reimbursement programmes.

12. Ask for a promotion

To progress in your career, ask your management team to consider promoting you to a higher position. A promotion may increase your job satisfaction and demonstrate your confidence in your ability to your employer. Before requesting the promotion, consider the skills and experience that make you a valuable employee. Then, request to have a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor where you can ask for the promotion and provide the reasons why you're a good fit for a higher position.

13. Start a business

Starting a business can demonstrate your advanced skills and business knowledge, which may help you progress in your career. While working at your full-time position, you may use your industry knowledge and experience to start your own side business. Once you grow a business, you may pursue it as your full-time career, which allows you to progress into a CEO or business owner position.

14. Join a management trainee programme

Many companies have management trainee programmes, which equip employees to better understand the knowledge, skills and techniques necessary to be an effective manager. These programmes often give employees that have an interest in securing management positions the opportunity to perform common leadership tasks, like providing feedback to employees, attending management courses, performing conflict resolution for employees and customers and analysing progress reports. Throughout the programme, employers may provide you with an assessment to understand your improved leadership skills.

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