Whether you want to advance your career within your current company or jump ship to a higher position in a new organisation, accelerating your career takes more than simply doing great work within your existing role. It’s tough to get noticed in today’s competitive business environment, which is why doing an MBA at one of the top business schools in the world is one of the best ways to get ahead today.
Getting your MBA isn’t the only way to accelerate your career, however. We’ve picked out four key ways to fast-track your career:
1) Decide on a clear career goal.
One of the answers to the question, ‘Why do MBA graduates excel in the job market?’ is because they have a clear understanding of their career goals – and how to achieve them. Have a long, hard think about what you want out of your career. Is it more responsibility? A better salary? A different job title? To move to a different department? Outline exactly what you want, then map out clear, actionable steps to achieve it. These could include expanding your skill set, connecting with key members of management, or setting up a meeting with your company’s HR department or a recruitment agency.
2) Learn the new skills you need to achieve your goal.
Identify which skills you’re lacking in and enrol in a course or training program so that you can add them to add them to your CV. New technologies in particular continue to transform job functions; staying relevant and competitive means keeping up with the digital revolution. Look out for evening or weekend courses, or motivate for in-house training at your current organisation. If you really want to transform your overall skill set, of course, enrolling in an MBA program is the most effective way to do it. Why do MBAs give you such a huge advantage over your peers? MBA programs at the top business schools in the world sharpen your problem-solving skills, instill leadership qualities, furnish you with international business acumen, improve your people skills, and give you new perspectives on modern business. As a result, having an MBA under your belt puts you in the running for promotions within your current organisation and makes you an eligible pick for middle-management positions elsewhere.
3) Grow your professional network at every opportunity.
Who you know can be just as important as what you know. Having sought-after business skills, tons of experience, and a go-getter attitude aren’t much use if you can’t show them off to the right people. Never stop growing your professional network. Attend networking events, make meaningful online connections, and always follow-up on promising conversations. It should go without saying, but always conduct yourself in a professional and friendly manner; people tend to remember – and recommend – people they genuinely like. This is another reason why doing an MBA or a similar business course is a great career accelerator: it’s one of the best ways to expand your network of professional connections.
4) Use your online presence to build your personal brand and position yourself as an influencer.
Your LinkedIn profile and network really can help you advance in your chosen field. Build your personal brand and online presence by focusing on adding value to your online connections’ lives. Contribute constructively to online debates. If you’ve got a flair with the pen, consider writing a few short LinkedIn articles about your field. This shows your expertise and positions you as an industry expert. Don’t be afraid to have a strong opinion either; stirring debate is an excellent way to get noticed. (So long as you keep it clean, respectful, and rational.) Remember that everything you do online is an advertisement for your character and skills. This extends beyond LinkedIn to your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Always act like a professional, or you risk putting potential employers off.