It’s not enough to be great at your job; you have to develop marketable skills that prepare you for more responsibility. When you gain skills and qualifications far beyond what your current job requires, your employer may see keeping you in that job as a waste of your talents.
If a qualification will help you achieve your career goals, study for one. There are a wide range of education programs available that allow you to study in the evenings or on weekends. Your employer may reimburse you for certain tuition expenses, so it may be possible for you to expand your knowledge at no cost to yourself.
Or ask to be considered for in-house development courses. Sometimes specialized professional designations or licenses can be far more important to getting a promotion than degrees, and sometimes you may just need to take some classes to improve your computer skills or accounting ability.
Learn another language. Due to the increasing globalization, more companies will be looking for people that know multiple languages. This can open up international posts
Volunteer your spare time to a non-profit organization. They almost always offer a wealth of opportunities to learn new things, and smaller organizations may also have suitable projects you could work on. Successful non-profits often look to fill volunteer positions with people who are qualified to do the job, but with a little persistence you should be able to find an opportunity that uses your existing skills and helps you build new skills. Your community involvement can also be a plus toward your getting your promotion.
Develop a mentoring relationship with a manager or someone higher up in your department. You’ll learn a lot about the organization and about the jobs you might want and you’ll have an ally who will speak for you if you decide to apply for a new opportunity. Your mentor may groom you to succeed them .
A common paradox is that you’re so good at your job that you’re indispensable, and the company need you in your position. The solution is to take another employee under your wing and train them to cover for you if you get promoted. A lot of people are afraid that their understudy will take their job if they do this, but as long as you’re a fantastic employee and continue to develop your skills, the only way you’ll lose your current job is by getting promoted. Training another employee also shows that you have management skills and that you care about helping other employees develop their skills.
If you see a way of developing your existing job or see the need for a new position, talk to management about creating this position. Since you saw the need and are best qualified for the position, this can help you take on new responsibilities.
If you are not getting anywhere with your current employer, it’s time to look for better opportunities elsewhere. This can be hard if you feel a loyalty to your employer, but you need to do what is in the best interest of your career or you will become unhappy with your job. Recent surveys show that as many as 75 percent of employees are looking for new jobs at any given time, so you won’t be alone.