StrategyDriven Professional Development Article

Career Development: Climb That Ladder in 8 Steps

It used to be that there were certain industries you could rely upon to be easy to break into. But, with the need for jobs right now, that just isn’t true any longer. You need to be the best at what you do to get the job you want. Not only that, you need to stay ahead of innovative ways of working. As technology advances, so do the ways that many industries operate. So, how do you stay ahead of the curve and climb the career ladder?

What Are You Bad At?

It may seem like you should figure out the opposite and plug your best skills to your employers or potential employers. However, the skills you lack will soon be noticed in any job you take on. Once you’ve identified the skills you need to work on, you can begin to practice perfecting them. It takes commitment if you want to reach the top of the ladder, so working on your flaws is the best place to start. If you try to hide what you don’t know, it won’t be long before you’re discovered as a fraud.

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Keep Learning

Business changes every day, so it’s important to keep up with what’s going on. If you aren’t getting the information you need from your colleagues or boss, go and find it yourself. Sometimes, you have to look outside the workplace to advance yourself. For example, someone wanting to progress in the social work industry could do an LCSW online program in their spare time to advance their knowledge and get better career prospects. When it comes to improving the work you do on a day to day basis, it’s important to get the inside scoop from the client. So, if there’s any kind of barrier between you and your client, try and remove it so you can clarify your client’s needs.

Be Valuable

As your business industry advances, so should you. There may come a time when your boss is looking for something specific. For example, if you work in technology, your boss may want to build a team in order to implement a new facial recognition service. The more you know and the more experience you have, the more useful you’ll be. If your boss recognizes your contribution to the advancement of the company, you could become indispensable to the business. The more time you take to research possible changes in your industry in the future, the more valuable you become.

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Make Connections

Making good connections is so important to career advancement. It’s not just about knowing the boss’s son in case a new position opens up a year from now; it’s about personal advancement too. Getting to know the people around you could mean you learn new and better ways of working, making your days at work much easier and more convenient. Talking to people who do the same job is a way of getting new ideas and thinking outside the box. When you start to think differently, suddenly new doors open and you become more creative with your work.

Read A Lot

I know, who has time for reading with a career, right? But, reading can open your eyes in the same way relationships can. Whether you’re reading the autobiography of an industry leader, or a few pages of an article you found online, it all contributes to what you know. However, it doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to reading only about business. Picking up your favorite author’s new novel at the bookstore will do you just as good. Reading opens the mind and allows new ideas in. It also helps to relax the mind. So, if you’ve been struggling with a problem at work recently, you could have your voila moment in the middle of a crime thriller chapter.

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Take a Break

Building up a successful career is hard, and although it’s tempting to go full steam ahead, that’s not going to be good for your health. You can’t take the business world by storm if you’re constantly feeling tired and run down. There has to be a balance between your work life and your personal life. Too many people make the mistake of believing that getting work done way ahead of deadlines will get them noticed. Take the time and spend it with family and friends instead. The better rested you are, the more likely you are to take the world by storm.


You know what they say – travel broadens the mind. But, it isn’t just a broader mind you can gain from travel. Many students who go on gap years end up staying abroad because the develop careers in different countries. Travelling can do two things when it comes to your career: increase your passion for your chosen career path or change it completely. You’ll sometimes meet the connections you need to branch into something you’ve never thought of before. Similarly, businesses are now trading on the global market, thanks to the use of the internet and it’s many platforms. So, taking that next step on the career ladder could be just about learning more about your customers and the different cultures and backgrounds they come from.

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Be Confident

It’s easier said than done sometimes. But, being confident is one of the major keys to career success. A client isn’t going to want to bank on someone who fumbles through a presentation and isn’t sure on how to answer questions. It’s also important to be confident in who you will be. For example, it’s okay to say you’re unsure of how something works, as long as you can say you’re willing to learn and will become confident in it in the future.

When you’re trying to climb the career ladder, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Being yourself is the only way you’ll find out if you’re truly cut out for the career you’ve chosen and whether you have the passion to continue with it. After all, this ladder isn’t for the faint of heart.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article

Intelligent Investments To Further Your Career

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Regardless of which industry you work in, achieving success is top of the agenda. Whether your definition of accomplishment revolves around money, power or making a difference to the world doesn’t matter. You should always strive to reach those goals. The first step to turning those dreams into a reality is to realize that only you can make it happen.

Taking responsibility today will enable you to make smarter investments for a brighter tomorrow. So, what are the best ways to boost your career prospects for immediate and long-term rewards? Let’s take a closer look.

Become A Leader

As a driven person, you should always be looking to develop new skills and add strings to your bow. Many of the skills needed to thrive will be dictated by the field of work that you’re in. However, there are plenty of traits that bosses in all sectors actively search for. Leadership capabilities are unquestionably among the most sought after traits.

After all, a great leader doesn’t only work to their potential. They additionally help other employees reach theirs, which can be very beneficial for a company. With an Online Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership Program, you can gain those skills in your time. This enables you to boost your long-term prospects without immediate sacrifices.

Gaining those leadership attributes won’t only help you climb the career ladder. It could additionally provide the confidence and aptitude to start a business of your own.

Communicate Better

Good leadership relies heavily on communication. In truth, though, strong communication links are the heartbeat of all business activities. When you are on the same wavelength as colleagues, customers, and bosses, productivity shoots through the roof. In most cases, that will accelerate progress towards your targets.

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Communication isn’t just about expressing yourself well. You also need to appreciate the other person’s outlook. Whether it’s improving the efficiency of emails or focusing on the listening aspects of human interaction doesn’t matter. Become a better communicator, and it will open up new doors and avenues.

More importantly, those stronger collaborations actively reduce the likelihood of making costly mistakes. Given that those errors can harm your reputation in business for many years, avoiding this problem is essential.

Invest In Your Appearance

In the fierce world of modern business, you need to think of yourself as a personal brand. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that your skills are only one part of the full package. In reality, you will be judged for a whole host of different factors, and your image is one of the first.

You needn’t look like a model unless that is your profession, but you should look presentable. Employers and clients naturally respond to healthier looking people with trusting eyes, even if it’s only on a subconscious level. Getting a little fitter, and finding the right attire for work can make a telling difference.

Meanwhile, you must learn to appreciate the items that may cause negative reactions. If you’re going to have a tattoo, having it on a part of the body that can be easily covered is advised. Likewise, anything that could cause offense should be avoided at all costs. Otherwise, you’ll be limiting your opportunities badly.

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Improve First Impressions

Looking good offers a great foundation for making an instant impact. However, there are many other factors to consider. Because when you strike a chord with an employer, colleague or client straight away, it boosts your hopes of getting the desired outcome.

Before applying for new jobs, you must go the extra mile to perfect your applications. Writing a better cover letter, which is personalized to the specific job, will help. Rather than simply having a resume, why not build a website portfolio? Not only does it show effort, but it gives you a chance to express personality and actually show your worth.

The interview process is still very much the main opportunity to bag yourself a new job. Whether moving to a new company or looking for an internal promotion, conducting the required research into the business is vital. On a similar note, preparing for difficult interview questions can enhance your chances of creating that spark.

Grow Your Network

Good communication with the people you already deal with is one thing. But being able to meet new people is another altogether. Frankly, it’s the latter that often separates the fairly successful individuals from the truly successful ones.

In today’s climate, you can increase your network in many different ways. Attending local business events is still one of the best options out there. The Entrepreneur Guide to LinkedIn Networking highlights the benefits of online interactions too. Become a part of the conversation rather than a spectator, and the rewards will soon start to show.

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Opportunities can surface from anywhere at anytime. Sadly, that isn’t going to happen if you aren’t known to the people who are looking to fill those positions. Even if those links don’t lead to a direct job offer, it gives you a greater insight into your worth. Far too many people finally to reach their potential due to underestimating themselves. Therefore, this indirect benefit can be telling.

Analyze And Prepare

Certain things in your career may happen due to fate. For most people, the trajectory of a career is determined by effort, efficiency, and organization. Therefore, it’s important to take a step back at regular intervals to see where you stand.

Never be afraid to ask employers or clients for feedback. By definition, we often don’t see our blind spots. So, this analysis can keep you on the right track. Meanwhile, it’s equally vital to have a vision of success. Building a five-year plan will provide guidance. Even if you deviate from the pathway, knowing that each step is in a positive direction will boost your confidence.

Take those steps today to reflect on your current position and future targets. Aside from the motivational benefits, it should allow you to sidestep the obstacles that have been holding you back thus far. Get it right, and a brighter future is virtually assured.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article

The 4 E’s Of Landing The Career Of Your Dreams

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When it comes to landing the career of your dreams, you can get quite giddy. And who could blame you? Your entire future is out there, just waiting to be harnessed. So it’s time to work exact exactly how you’re going to do that. Whether you want to ensure you get started out on the correct path from the start, or you’re currently unhappy with what you’re doing and you want to make sure that you’re able to find the right career with a suitable change, you want to get it right. And to do that, you need to combine a few different areas.

Firstly, you have your education. Whether that’s currently where you are now, or something that you’re considering to going back into. But you also have your work experience to consider, and this can often play heavily into making your career work for you too. Then, you’ve got your enthusiasm, because your determination and drive often makes a huge difference in how well you can progress in your career. And finally, there’s your evolution, because landing that career of your dreams does often involve a range of progressive steps. So let’s take a look at how you’re going to combine all four to land the career of your dreams.


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The Right Major

If you are just starting out with your career, and you’re still in college (or even about to start), you’re really going to want to drill down on the right major. Choosing a major can be tough is if you’re unsure of what you want to do. Sometimes, even choosing the right courses individually can be a hard task. But if you do have a rough idea of what career path you want to head down, you need to be able to make your major work for you.

Going On To Graduate Level

Then, you may want to think about what graduate education can do for your career prospects. If you are looking to change career fields, this can also be relevant to you too. You may wonder how long it takes to get a masters degree, but if you’re serious about the right career, the one or two years of extra education will benefit you immensely. It may even be a prerequisite for the career you want.

Further Training

Then, depending on what career it is that you’re chasing, you may also be interested in further training. Some industries require licensure or certification, which you may need to train for. Or, if you’re interested in something like journalism or marketing, you may want to look into vocational qualifications that can help you to stand out.


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Work Experience

Following on from education, you also need to have the experience. It’s hard to say which of the two weighs up as more important, as in most career fields the two go hand in hand. So you may want to think about getting some work experience whenever you can. Gaining job experience can be done in a range of ways, but doing this while you study, or alongside another job, will often stand you in good stead.


One of the key areas of getting experience will always lie within interning. Sometimes, you may not feel as if an internship is right for you. But, a lot of the time, you will find that internships can open a lot of doors for you. Finding an internship can be competitive, but the right one will often provide you with key experience and allow you to build valuable connections too.

Starting Out

Some people often assume that as soon as you’ve landed your first job, your days of getting experience are over. But really, they’re just beginning. You often have to learn a lot when you first begin your career. In fact, you do learn throughout your career. But at the start, you need to take in everything. You need to prove yourself and ensure that you can absorb knowledge from those around you, and start to make waves in the industry that you’ve gone into.

Going Above And Beyond

You’re also going to find that you need to go above and beyond to get to where you need to be. Regardless of the industry, you’re in, or the job role that you go into, if you’re a mediocre employee, you may not go far. But when you have big career dreams, you need to chase them with all that you have. And that will often mean that you need to go above and beyond what is asked of you, in order to stand out.


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Combining Your Hobbies

Your enthusiasm is often what pushes you forwards in your career. Without it, you may struggle to get to where you want to be. One of the ways that you can often show your enthusiasm for the job, and ensure that you’re able to contribute as much as you can, is to combine your hobbies. Although they’re often there for enjoyment, you’ll find that sometimes your hobbies can make you better at your job.

Starting A Side Hustle

At the same time, you may find that having a ‘side hustle’ is invaluable. When you’re trying to commit your all to your job, you may not think you have time to operate anything alongside it, but you should find that it can help you to stand out and even progress in your field. Whether you start a blog or sell a product, it could be the edge you need to keep you moving in your career.

Going The Extra Mile

At the same time, you should also be thinking about how you can go the extra mile. Your enthusiasm helps with this. Yes, it is in some ways similar to going above and beyond what it asked of you, but sometimes it can be something that you come up with on your own – like giving ideas, that can help.

Taking On Extra

Finally, you may also find that offering to take on extra work can benefit your career in a range of different ways. Not only will this look good to your bosses, and go under the idea of ‘going the extra mile,’ but you will also find that you may be able to learn new things and get yourself experience in areas that you wish to progress into in the future.


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Knowing Your Goals

The last ‘E’ in the list concerns your career progression. Because if you’re ever going to get that dream role, you need to be able to harness your own growth. To do that, you will need goals. Because it’s hard to advance without knowing where you need to be. Setting career goals may be tough to start with, but as soon as they’re in place, you will have a guide that can get you to where you need to be.

Following The Stepping Stones

Then, you need to be able to follow the steps that you’ve set out for yourself as a part of your goal setting. You may find that this is going to take you time, it could even be ten years or more, sometimes even twenty. But you need to be able to know what promotions you need, and what roles you’re to go through in order to reach the final step.

Using The E’s To Get To The End

And finally, you need to understand how you’re going to use all of the three other ‘E’s to get to this stage. By ensuring that education, experience, and enthusiasm can work together in harmony, you should find that you’re able to not only chase after your dream career path, but pass through it with ease.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article

How to Move Up The Career Ladder in the Medical Field

The medical field is an extremely rewarding area of work, both financially and emotionally. It is extremely high pressure and can take an emotional toll on staff as tensions run high, so it’s not for everyone. However, for those who do pursue a career in one of the various specialisms of medicine can rest safe in the knowledge that they are helping others and contributing to making the world a better place. What’s more? Most individuals in the field have brilliant job security, as there’s always demand for medical professionals in all areas of the world. Your career could allow you to stay close to home or branch out further afield. Regardless of the type of medicine that you specialise in, it is likely that you have already undertaken years of hard study or training. But completing these doesn’t necessarily signify the end of your learning experience. Every day will pose you with a new challenge, so you’ll constantly be picking up knowledge on the job. The large majority of individuals in these careers will also have plenty of room to progress, with plenty of opportunities to progress up the career ladder into more specialised roles. So, if you’re already in the healthcare profession and are wondering what next steps you should take for career advancement, we’re here to help. Here are a few sage pieces of advice to give you a boost up to the next stage of your career.

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Healthcare is constantly becoming more specialised, so it isn’t all too surprising that hospitals are beginning to require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from registered nurses if they intend to move up the career ladder. Nurses across the country (both those looking at heading into nursing roles and those who already occupy nursing roles) are heading back to higher education to gain the qualifications necessary to progress with their careers. This doesn’t necessarily mean going back to a physical campus to undertake lectures and seminars. An Online RN to BSN Degree Program does an equally effective job in seeing registered nurses become nurses with a bachelor in science. But it isn’t merely the qualification that will benefit your resume and career. Undertaking such a program provides the knowledge and skills that are absolutely essential to working in a constantly changing healthcare environment. The course will ensure that nurses are thoroughly prepared to take on professional leadership roles. So, what should you expect the content of such a course to entail? There are various areas of focus: holistic nursing care for individuals, families and communities; how to apply arts, science and nursing learning to the delivery of high-quality nursing care; how to translate existing evidence into safe nursing practice; how to adhere to ethics and principles while serving as an advocate and professional healthcare provider; how to communicate and collaborate with partners to provide the best care for patients; how to function as a leader and an agent of change within dynamic healthcare systems. The list goes on. So, if you plan to climb the career ladder as a nurse, pursuing further higher education may well be the answer for you!

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Dental Care

Dentistry is an area of medicine focusing on oral health and the maintenance of healthy, clean teeth and gums. There are many individuals involved in the profession, however, the two that members of the public are most likely to come into close contact with are dentists and dental nurses. Many dental nurses intend to remain in their career as a dental nurse, however, the constant training that many receive on the job often sparks a further interest in progressing to become a dentist themselves. If this sounds familiar, rest safe in the knowledge that this is an entirely feasible career option. However, it is extremely important to recognise that the job roles are completely different and you will be in for a long educational journey before being able to take to the position of your dreams. A dentist is responsible for diagnosing oral diseases, promoting good oral health and disease prevention, creating treatment plans in order to maintain or repair teeth and oral health, interpreting x rays and undertaking diagnostic tests, administration of anaesthetic before operations and performing surgical procedures. The bulk of dental nursing training often takes place on the job with you picking up experience and knowledge as you go along. Dentistry training, however, is, on the whole, a more academic experience and will be undertaken in a university or college setting. Your previous experience is likely to contribute well to take up a position at a college. However, you will have to start from the beginning like everyone else on the course. The whole process will usually take around five years, so be sure that you will be entirely committed to the course before signing up. Remember, patience is a virtue and you will be rewarded greatly in the long run.

These are just a few areas in the medical field that may take your fancy. Never feel like it’s too late to change paths or directions. Chances are that your employer will support your decision to alter your specialist or advance your knowledge, as this will give them a more well-rounded and experienced staff member on the team. If you feel that you have been in the same position for too long without promotions, don’t feel afraid to approach your manager, supervisor or employer about the situation. They may assume that you are content in your role and the thought may never have entered their mind. They are extremely busy individuals, remember. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge or show of interest on your part to get the ball rolling. Many healthcare providers will offer to pay for staff members’ education and advancement and will allow you the necessary time off to work on your qualifications and take exams. It’s always worth asking. Remember you can generally go back to your old position if things don’t work out or you feel that you’ve taken on too much. Seize the opportunities that are available to you and you will progress in next to no time.

Brandi Stankovic

Resolve to Improve Your Company or Career in 2016!

The start of a calendar year is usually a great time for evaluating the leadership and growth of your organization, and ways to take your own career or company to the next level. What better way to start off the New Year than assessing areas that need improvement and establishing new goals for the immediate and long term future. For many executives, especially ones who are already somewhat accomplished, this task is easier said than done. From time to time, we could all use a little help figuring out next steps and how to get there, yet not everyone can afford to hire their own personal leadership coach.

Below are a few key lessons from The Strategic MVP on cultivating a personal brand and unleashing one’s ‘inner nerd’ to help you become a true MVP.

1. The Importance of a Personal Brand

Similar to the brand of a company, your personal brand is the feeling and experience that people have when they interact with you, think about you, or talk about you. Do you have an identifiable personal brand? Managing your personal brand can be one of the most important things you do as you progress in business. What do you want to be known for? If your personal brand is authentically focused on your career aspirations, then the right people will think of YOU when the right opportunity arises. Your personal brand should articulate your values, story, message, and things that are important to you.

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About the Author

Dr. Brandi StankovicDr. Brandi Stankovic is a professor, organizational change expert, motivational speaker and mommy who inspires firms globally with her models of leadership, engagement and award-winning education. Her clients include billion dollar organizations, trade associations and non-profit foundations.

The Strategic MVP (co-authored by Mark Thompson) is an interactive guide offering motivational lessons from the world’s top CEOs (Warren Buffet, Sir Richard Branson, Martha Reitman, Ingrid Vanderveld, etc.) and ongoing workshop-type exercises. These exercises help readers identify challenges specific to them while offering solutions to help develop important business skills that will take their career and/or organization to the next level.