The answer to this question is actually quite complex as there are many factors at play
here, some are obvious, some not so obvious and some of which may unfortunately
be out of your control.
To start with, Qualifications are extremely important and a good place to begin to lay
solid career foundations. What we have learned to date at Elk Recruitment is continued
learning and gaining strong meaningful up to date qualifications are key to progressing
your career especially the more senior you go.
Rightly or wrongly most employers in today’s markets expect qualifications when
taking on new employees. So if you’re going to embark on a career, identify the
qualification that best suits your area of interest and set the wheels in motion to achieve
it, but do get advice if you are unsure as to the best way forward.
Your main aim should be to acquire a good solid primary degree in your chosen field. If
you are in a technical discipline and you have achieved your technical qualification, try
also to gain a qualification in the soft studies to round of your offering such as supervisory
management or HR. This will keep you on par with the pack leaders coupled with a
certification in possibly Six Sigma or Lean.
Remember the higher you go in your career, generally people skills are just if not more
important than your technical ones.
Qualifications are only a foundation or entry point to allow you to begin to progress your
career. As you enter employment you will quickly see that the skills you have learned in
college on their own are certainly not enough to entitle you to progress
‘You may read volumes on swimming and jump into a pool and drown’.
The working environment is complex and there are a lot more factors to be considered
and mastered before you take that next step. Study the environment you are working in
and the method used by the organisation to get your assigned tasks done, master your
part of the process and approve upon it, but measure, document & communicate the
results. Along with other team members, try to learn how to master other areas of the
process without of course affecting your current responsibilities and again try and
improve upon them also.
What you are trying to do here is to become a practical individual that understands the
whole process of the organisation. You want to become an ‘A player’ an asset to the
organisation, who does their job effective continually but is always working away in
the background to improve results and help out in other areas of the business when
required. Do this and you will quickly get noticed, but remember all notice may not be positive.
Probably one of the more complex and important areas of your development to master.
But the rule is simple, work hard, help out when and where you can, be genuine and
positive in your communication and listen to others. Stand up for what you believe in
without causing offence and remember if you need to have choice words with
someone do so in private & praise in public.
Is that it
Unfortunately not, as we said from the outset some things are out of your control and just
when you think that you have mastered all of the above you get overlooked for a promotion.
This is normal, get used to it but resilience, commitment, performance and constant focus
on your goal in tandem with your practical, academic and people skills will ultimately
progress your career. Keep at it, if you keep knocking eventually the door will open to you.