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What are the Best Tips for Career Advancement?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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In any field, career advancement is the goal of many workers. Whether advancing from substitute teacher to principal, or from being a waitress to owning a restaurant, career advancement is often determined by the careful actions of the individual. While career advancement cannot always be guaranteed, especially in fields where a lot of luck is required to make it big, following some basic tips can help improve the chances of future promotions and career opportunities.

Instead of daydreaming about they day when they will take over the company, it is important for workers to focus on doing the job they have now as well as possible. Even if a person plans to leave his or her company and go to a different place of employment, a glowing recommendation from former employers can never hurt. People that scoff at current job responsibilities run the risk of being considered arrogant or lazy, and may hurt themselves by complaining vocally about how they deserve a better job or more responsibility. Bosses generally want to promote workers that excel at their jobs and make the work environment a better, more pleasant, and more productive place for everyone.

Take opportunities to volunteer whenever possible. Working on volunteer boards for both company and community organizations can be a great way to make contacts and create a reputation as a responsible citizen. Working as a volunteer within the industry can also show supervisors and managers that a worker is willing to do more than the minimum amount to draw a paycheck. Volunteering may not always lead to direct opportunities for career advancement, but may pay off dividends in the long run by creating a strong network of contacts and references.

Looks certainly aren't everything, but looking and acting professional can go a long way toward career advancement. People who come to interviews or show up to work disheveled, hungover, or lacking in personal hygiene can make the workplace unpleasant for others and damage the image of the company. Likewise, workers that engage in unprofessional behavior, such as gossip, or dramatic workplace relationships, may not be seen as serious professionals who want to get ahead. Looking and acting professional doesn't require designer-label business suits or snobbish behavior; simple, neat clothing and basic manners are likely to serve a person well.

Continuing to take educational opportunities in the field can help keep knowledge up to date and show workplace superiors that an employee has a passion for knowledge and personal improvement. Attend seminars, read academic journals, and even take a refresher course on basic skills once in a while. Staying on the cutting edge of industry knowledge may give an employee key opportunities to assume responsibility at work; if an employee is the only one to understand how to use a new piece of software, for instance, he or she may be asked to demonstrate it to everyone else.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis , Writer
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGEEK. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

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Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis


With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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