I’ve been in tech PR – both B2B and B2C – for a few years now and learned so much in the beginning of my career coming from no technology background whatsoever. There’s a lot to take in during the beginning stages, especially in tech PR. You’re up to your neck learning new terms and concepts like artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, Internet of Things, digital transformation, edge computing – you know, all the buzzwords. On top of that, you’re quickly learning how to build relationships with the media, clients and colleagues. It’s a lot of work and stress – but it’s fun and worth it in the end.
However, you’re now entering the stage of your career where you’re not exactly ‘entry-level’ and aren’t learning new skills in the same way or rate as you were before. Assuming you caught the title of this post, you’ve now stalled and are asking yourself, “now how do I get to the next level?” We’ve all been there – it’s a frustrating time. But, it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re at this point and are aware of it – congrats! Realizing you’re not learning as much as you were when you first started out is the first step in allowing yourself to move up the corporate ladder – now you need to lay out a plan to accomplish that sought-out promotion, which will take some time to complete. Here’s a few pointers to help get you started:
Determine Your Goals
Having professional goals is the most important part of the process. Without goals, you won’t get to where you want to go, and your boss and colleagues will have a hard time helping you get there. Start by looking over the job description of your position at the company – do you check everything off the list? If you do, great! But if you don’t, make these roles and responsibilities top priority on your professional development goals.
As you’re trying to move forward in your career, always be looking at what is expected of you in the next position. Obviously, make sure you’ve mastered the responsibilities expected of you currently, but proving to your colleagues you can do what’s expected of you at the next level will help start the conversation of a promotion. Managers and bosses want to know you’re able to take on the next role even before promoting you – keep that in mind.
Utilize Your Manager for Professional Guidance
Speaking of proving to colleagues you’re able to fill the role at the next level you’re hoping to get to, your manager is the person who has been appointed to help you do just that – so use them! Go to your manager to start the process of getting you that promotion and share your goals for how you expect to get there. Your manager can help you refine your goals to get you to the next step in your career and will appreciate the proactivity because you’re also making the process easier for them when it’s time to make their quest to their boss on your behalf.
Have weekly one-on-one meetings with your manager to check-in. This is very important – if your manager isn’t aware of the progress you’re making each week, how are you supposed to get the promotion? It may seem like a lot of time to meet every week, but trust me, it helps tremendously.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
There’s the old saying, “if you’re comfortable, then you’re not growing.” Always look for opportunities to better yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone. Does the next role require you to lead a team? Find ways to improve your management skills with your manager – whether it be outside the office or in your daily work. Will you be required to have more of a presence on client calls or new business pitches, but get nervous in front of crowds? Find a public speaking or improv class to help develop these skills. If you’re making the effort and taking the time to develop additional skills on your own time, your manager and bosses will notice, and it will pay off in the end.
Taking these three things into consideration helped me move forward in my career. It’s easy to get comfortable, but then you aren’t learning. If you’re a part of an organization where you’re able to implement these tips right away – I recommend doing so. Otherwise, take the initiative to start putting these stepping stones in place to get that promotion you’re working hard for and you’ll get the outcome you’re hoping for.
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