How to Move Onward and Upward in Your Career

As professionals, we are all interested – for various reasons – in improving our work situation. These improvements can take a variety of forms: more responsibility, more money, an office with a door, an office with a window, flexibility to work from home, etc. I have some ideas on what you can do to improve your chances at achieving some or all of these changes.

  1. Be kind and respectful to EVERYONE. Most, maybe all, work cultures have a hierarchy. Sometimes it’s really clear who has power and who does not. Other times it may be more “flat” but power differentials are always there. However, for this tip to work, you need to disregard those power differences. Be kind and respectful to EVERYONE. This shouldn’t be hard but it might require some practice. I also don’t mean that you pretend to be kind. You have to be authentically kind. Just do it! People will notice, you will stand out, and you will feel better about yourself.
  1. Find a mentor or mentors and LEARN. This is something that used to happen all the time in the workplace but has become more uncommon. Sometimes companies will institute a formal mentor program, which is fine but sometimes feels artificial. So here is how to find a mentor on your own. Find someone who does work that you are interested in and/or someone who is well connected with in an organization. Get to know them and ask them to be a mentor. The mentor/mentee relationship can be formal or informal depending on the situation. The goal is simple – learn from experience, gain new skills, practice dealing with a diverse people in diverse situations.
  1. Show initiative ALL THE TIME. If you want to be noticed and earn respect and responsibility, pay attention to what is going on around you. Figure out what is working and what is not working. Ask questions about the business or organization and understand what challenges are being faced. Be creative and find ways to help make improvements. Almost everything can be improved in some way. Look for processes that create friction and latency. Identify ways to streamline bureaucracy or improve quality. Share your ideas appropriately and then do them. Develop a reputation as someone who cares and as someone who can get things done.
  1. Be willing to MOVE ON. Sometimes work situations are what they are and there is little or no room for change. If you find yourself in a place where creativity is not recognized, knowledge is not shared, and people are negative and self-serving, have the courage to find another job. Jobs for life are a thing of the past and no one should feel stuck in a situation that drains their energy and creates stress that will over time result in illness. Get out! I am not suggesting making rash decisions but look honestly at the situation, the leadership, and make an informed decision. Can I make a difference here? Does this place value my contributions? If the answer is no, then it might be time to go.

Career Solutions Group offers services that are designed to help you change jobs and shift careers. We offer what the job market demands. If you have been off the job market for even five years you may be surprised about how much the process has changed. To learn more please contact us at We offer free initial consultations that will help you understand the job search process in greater detail.

 By: Bryan Dennis, Career Solutions Group