If you’re looking to grow in your career, the first step is to outline your goals. What do you want from your job? Where do you want to be in five years? Ten years? If you don’t have answers to these questions, that’s okay but you should at least have an idea.

If you find yourself struggling with your professional growth, you should take some time to sit down and come up with a strategy. But, where to start? Well, we’ve gathered some tips to help you on your journey to professional success in 2019:

1. Add skills, keep hustling, and continue learning

If you’re trying to get some additional income to your earnings amount, look into freelancing sites. However, make sure you can balance between what you do in your 9-5 job and any additional hours you work on top of that. It can be hard to get through a forty-hour work week much less a fifty- or sixty-hour work week.

Carefully consider the drawbacks and benefits before making the decision. However, if you believe you’ll get value out of it and add skills you might be able to use in your full-time employment, you should definitely consider it.

Don’t want to add another job on top of your current one? Look for ways to grow within the company you’re already at:

  • Shadow someone else in a different department
  • Attend conferences to expand your professional skills
  • Network with other professionals in your industry
  • Be a “yes” man (or woman) when it comes to accepting new opportunities

2. Use your voice

If you need to change up your workflow, maybe you want to start working from home, for example, speak up about it. Especially if there’s something that is harming your productivity, it’s important to address the issue.

Go to your manager, voice your concerns, and suggest a solution. The worst that can happen? Someone saying “no” to your suggestion for a change or ignoring you altogether. But in most cases, a company is looking to retain employees, especially if you’re a good worker.

3. Look inward

In order to grow professionally, you have to grow personally. Use tools like a kirlian camera to discern your internal tendencies, both positive and negative. Take a Myers-Briggs personality test to see where your interests naturally lie and if your strengths match up to your current job.

4. Find a mentor

Nothing will propel you forward quite like an amazing mentor. That person can be a role model if his or her career path is something you want to mimic. He or she can also be the key to an entirely new professional network you can tap into.

5. Plan where you’ll be in a year, five years, and ten years

If you’re trying to plan out where you want to be career-wise, don’t just think about the short term. Come up with a one-year, five-year, and ten-year plan so you know exactly where you want to go professionally.

Write down your goals and put them up somewhere you can see them in your office. Having a visual reminder of your long-term goals can keep you focused when work gets stressful.

6. Give your professional wardrobe a makeover

First impressions matter. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. These are cliches, yes, but there is truth to them. If you feel like your wardrobe doesn’t match your professionalism, it’s time to give yourself a makeover. Invest in high-quality clothing that will last for years so you won’t have to replace them as often.

Don’t forget about your personal appearance, either. A new haircut, a shaved beard, and a little grooming can do wonders.

7. Check in with your manager frequently

If your company department structure allows for it, a one-on-one relationship with your manager is absolutely indispensable. Your manager can act as a sounding board for new ideas, give you honest feedback on your projects, and suggest you for open roles within the company. If you don’t know your manager well, make a concentrated effort to get to know him or her.

In conclusion

Pushing yourself to new professional heights is as easy as coming up with a strategy of where you want to go. In order to grow in your job, you should make sure to develop a relationship with your manager, network with others in your industry, and learn new skills to keep yourself from reaching a plateau.

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