How to Get Ahead in Your Career Through Ongoing Education

How to Get Ahead in Your Career Through Ongoing Education
How to Get Ahead in Your Career Through Ongoing Education

Though you will absolutely learn on the job, you cannot rely solely on your current position to carry you on towards your dreams. Employers want go-getters in their upper positions. They want people who go above and beyond to better themselves and those around them. Yes, there are exceptions. No, it won’t always be fair. You will be passed over for someone less qualified and passed over for someone more qualified; it’s just the way life works.

The only control you have here is to do your best to be the best. Develop yourself and diversify your skill set every day. This way, you can show your ambition and your devotion to your career. You will also benefit from the ongoing networking opportunities and the fulfillment that comes with achieving. Do this, and the worst-case scenario is you look for another employer who values your development and wants you on your team.

Unless you know someone high up in the company who forces you through the ranks, the chances are that you will need to go above and beyond to keep advancing. Ongoing education is the best strategy because it will give you the foundation you need. Start today and remember to follow these tips.  

Don’t Just Further Your Skillset, Diversify It

There are two ways forward when it comes to getting ahead in your career. You can either further your current qualifications, or you can diversify them. Ideally, you will do both, but take this one step at a time or else risk overloading yourself and getting nothing accomplished.

What it means to further your skill set:

Furthering your skill set means keeping what you know updated with the times. If you are a health and safety expert today, then advancing your skill set will mean recertifying every year and keeping up to date with the news and events. Doing so will keep both your skills relevant and your knowledge industry-leading.

What it means to diversify or expand your skill set:

Diversifying your skill set, on the other hand, broadens your capabilities. If you are a manager, for example, you can develop what you know by gaining certificates or gaining the full certification in health and safety from attending any of the courses available on Doing this will make you a more valuable manager and more capable of taking on increasingly senior roles. Once you have these extra certifications, however, it is critical that you keep them up to date as otherwise, you will not gain the full scope of benefits available.

Adopt a Habit of Regular Reading

Regular reading is something that everyone should commit to, and yet far too few Americans enjoy. Not only does this seem to be a cultural phenomenon, but it is also backed up by government regulation and funding. Public libraries are consistently underfunded, meaning that low-income families have less access to free reading material than their wealthier counterparts.

Still, that doesn’t account for the fact that a quarter of Americans didn’t read a single book last year. The average, however, sits at 12 books per American, meaning that there are cultural and class divides when it comes to who reads and who doesn’t. This issue is highlighted when you learn that Europeans read, on average, 35 books a year, and those in the Middle East read 40 books per year.

This needs to change, and it should change because of the many benefits reading offers. For your career development, reading allows you to stay up to date on critical issues around the world, in your country, and in your industry. It also allows you to keep up to date on industry-relevant reports and make better deductions from all this information.

Even if you stick to fiction only, reading will help you expand your vocabulary and become more verbose; two traits that wow clients, customers, and coworkers alike.

Shadow Your Co-Workers

In work, the opportunities for learning and career advancement are almost endless. You simply need to be upfront and ask for shadowing opportunities. Before you demand anything, approach the team member you want to shadow to see if they would be willing to do that for you in the first place. If it is a busy time of the year and they are swamped with work, they likely won’t appreciate it if you go above their head and get a shadowing shift without their permission.

Once you have their say-so, go to a higher up and let them know you’d love to shadow on your own time. This works best if you have an alternating schedule or the company is open for business seven days a week. If not, then you will need to negotiate with your supervisor so that you can take time off from your duties to learn.

Gain Necessary Certifications and Keep Them Updated

When you learn, you have to keep those skills sharp. If you went to an ASSP course and gained a certification, review what you have learned and always keep an eye on when that certification expires. Health and safety regulations change regularly, which is why in most cases you will need to recertify in order to maintain your qualification. The same applies to anything you learn. Keep track of what you have learned and try to stay up to date with all new changes and updates.

The world changes constantly. What is true yesterday may not be true today, and it is for this reason that an ongoing approach to education is needed. You need to stay on top of the best strategies, tips, and theories in your industry to help your company keep up with the competition. Negotiate a pay rise when you start to feel that your job role has expanded and remember to stay firm about what you want. Getting these extra qualifications will mean nothing if you don’t benefit from them, and if your current employer doesn’t see your value, then it is time to move on to something better.

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