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5 Simple Ways to Advance Your Career

If you're in a dead-end job, with no real prospects on the horizon, listen up. Many people dream of getting that 'big break' that shoots our careers into the stratosphere, but it's not realistic. There's no career fairy who will wave her magic wand and transform our dull jobs and flat-lined career trajectory upside down, suddenly delivering the perfect life.

The truth is, waiting around for something to 'happen' TO us or FOR us is going to get us anywhere. Waiting keeps you in the same position year after year. So, what's the answer?

Here are 5 simple tips for advancing your career.

1. Learn and earn

To be effective, you need to take on new responsibilities. You also need to develop new skills, acquire new knowledge, and reach for new goals.

In just about every field, things are developing at a rapid pace. In order to stay relevant – and be promotable – you need to stay abreast of what's happening in your field, always staying at the front of the pack in terms of information and knowledge.

Get another qualification. It's not a short-term solution, but acquiring a better education, especially when it's relevant to your field, is a brilliant way to advance your career.

2. Protect your most precious asset

Your greatest asset in terms of all areas of your life is your health. When it comes to work, if you're always taking time off because you're sick, your career could be in jeopardy, especially when you run out of sick leave.

Treat your health as a precious asset to be nurtured as a matter of priority throughout your life. That means the usual: enough exercise and good nutrition. It also means getting enough quality sleep to allow you to recharge after a hard day, and get up refreshed enough to tackle the challenges of the new day.

3. Consider a change

You know the old saying "A change is as good as a holiday?" Well, it might just be the answer to a stagnant career. In the old days, one was expected to start a job and stay in it until you retired, and received the proverbial "gold watch." That's hardly ever true these days.

In the modern world, what we initially train for is often vastly different from what we end up doing. For example, a friend recently decided to get PMP certification, and now her life as a Project Manager has meant a great new career after years in an unsatisfying position.

4. Improve your organizational skills

There's one thing that almost every job requires, and that's good organizational skills. But not all of us are born to the world of organizing things. That's when it's time to turn to the professionals and take advice from those who know how to organize their lives.

Everything from managing your time, to managing your schedule, including your home life, could probably benefit from some upgrade. Read up on how famously productive and successful people organize their lives and their time. The odd tweak to your habits might make all the difference.

5. Seek mentorship

Many very successful people credit their mentors with at least part of their success. Look for someone who was where you now are or who is where you want to head. Mentors are expected to give objective advice and criticism, and the result is often excellent motivation. A mentor can help you develop your goals and strategies by which you're going to reach them.

If no-one immediately comes to mind, think about people you've worked with and who you admire most. Ask friends or colleagues for introductions, where necessary, and make networking a consistent priority.

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