Career progression is one of the top two reasons young people are consistently turning to the recruitment industry as their vocation of choice. Climbing the recruitment corporate ladder not only builds confidence, with recognition from peers and superiors, but facilitates fantastic financial benefits.
The recruitment industry also rewards hard and successful work expediently with an industry expert commenting “I’ve not seen or heard of many jobs where you can get promoted three times in a year”.
Barack Obama once said “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress”
The former US president is explaining that if you’re professionally heading in the right direction and doing the right things you will eventually enjoy the fruits of your labour through career progression and financial benefits.
The real question is: what is ‘doing the right things?’ And how do you ‘head in the right direction?’
Well we’re here to help and have put together our top 8 ways to help you speed up your recruitment career progression:
Love what you do
Make a SMART plan
Here are our 8 ways in a little more detail
1. Love what you do
“Choose a job that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” anon
Finding a vocation that you truly enjoy will help you progress quickly through the ranks. Whatever role you decide to pin your flag to make sure it’s one that feeds your curiosity and your spirit.
If you cannot enjoy it all, find aspects of the role you can love. If you enjoy it, you will be more likely to immerse yourself in it. More likely to find ways to increase your knowledge and find ways to develop your skillset. More likely to progress.
2. Get better at what you do
When you find something you love doing, make sure you give yourself over to the phrase ‘loving to learn’. When you approach life and work with this attitude you will find ways to increase your knowledge which will make you more efficient and productive at executing your role.
Relish and pay attention to appraisals as this will gift you a great opportunity to improve on your weaknesses.
Push your limits and comfort zones. They say the hardest steel is forged in the hottest fires so learn to expand your comfort zones but make sure you put your health and wellbeing first.
Finally, don’t ever settle for what you have right now. There is little progression in settling. Fire up and figure out how you can keep developing.
3. Make a SMART progress plan
‘He who fails to plan is planning to fail’ Winston Churchill
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for:
- Specific (be precise)
Figure out what the goal is (is it a promotion?). Then ask: What are the steps to get there?
- Measurable (to show how you are performing)
If you are going for a promotion do you need specific qualifications? Management and educational courses? How long does each course take? As you achieve these can you tick them off?
- Achievable (attainable)
Is your goal and plan realistic or are you being overly optimistic?
Make sure the plan you put in place will help you arrive at your chosen destination. Taking courses on irrelevant programmes will slow down your development so make sure your stages feed the end goal.
- Time bound (time-sensitive)
Put a time frame on when you wish to achieve your goals and/or the plan you put in place.
Putting a SMART plan into action will allow you to stay on track to achieve your outcomes as it will make you more accountable at every stage.
4. Immerse yourself in your industry
Completely absorb everything your industry can throw at you. Become the go to person for all problem-solving issues your peers have.
Utilise your networks, digital media and industry media platforms to keep up to date with industry trends. Become an early adopter in industry developments until you become so talented you become an early innovator and dictate the direction of your services.
A great way to progress professionally is to find a mentor. The saying ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’ has many benefits with an important one being knowing people with experience in your field.
Finding a great mentor will help speed up your development and progression as exposure to their knowledge will allow you to navigate problems successfully and utilise ‘best practice’ skills they have honed over time.
This is one of the quickest ways to speed up your personal development, so it will pay to find a great mentor, even if that means paying for a great mentor (which is becoming more and more common practice). It might be the best investment you ever make professionally.
Michael Dell (founder of Dell Technologies) once said “don’t be the smartest person in the room”, because if you’re the smartest in the room then you’re not able to learn from those around you.
Building a large network of smart people will help your development and progression. Surrounding yourself with people that are experts in your field will keep you exposed to ‘best practice’.
A large network will also allow more opportunities to come your way.
Remember though strong relationships are built through mutual benefit so make sure you have something to offer or you may end up being pushed away.
7. Stand out from the pack
If you want to progress quickly you will need to stand out from the pack. To do this you will need to go above and beyond and continually go the Xtra Mile.
Once you get great at your roles and responsibilities ask for more. By accepting more responsibility, you will position yourself as a leader and go getter.
Consider your personal brand. Think about how you present yourself. How am I dressed? Can I represent this company at a higher level? How are you acting in the public? on social media? Ask am I portraying the right message that my superiors will notice?
Act confident, feel confident and believe in yourself. You may not get everything right all the time but focus on the things you do great and improve your weaknesses, walk tall and exude belief.
Confidence is attractive but make sure it doesn’t cross into arrogance as that will be a turn off for your peers and superiors.
Finally, be a good person. People like people that are good. Good positive people draw other good people and success to them.
A University of Herefordshire study about lucky vs unlucky people found that the so called ‘lucky’ people actually were more positive and as such displayed particular personality traits that allowed them to have more opportunities come their way, the unlucky people were found to be introverted and more negative.
The message here is you can help your own progression by being positive and friendly.
The New Zealand international rugby union team the All Blacks, have the highest win ratio in sporting history, an incredible 89% win rate since 2011. They have as one of the core values, a term ‘No d**k heads’. They recognised that good people make good players, team mates and athletes and a world class team.
The lesson here is successful businesses work as teams to create synergy for success. Good leaders know this also so will look for good people to promote the values of an organisation.
The recruitment industry is an exciting and vibrant sector, tailor made for enthusiastic professionals. It offers dynamic employees the opportunity to climb quickly up the corporate ladder if they’re willing to roll up their sleeves and follow a plan of action.
We encourage you to embrace these 8 career progression traits which will help you on your pathway to professional success and the lifestyle benefits that allows.