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10 Ways To Show You’re Ready For The Next Step In Your Career

10 Ways To Show You’re Ready For The Next Step In Your Career

June 27, 2023

We often think that career progression will just happen when we’re ready, but sometimes you need to be willing to put in a little extra work to drive your career forward. If you don’t ask for opportunities, you won’t get them.

When you start to feel bored or dissatisfied with your role, this could be a sign that you are ready to take the next step. This opportunity won’t always be handed to you, and you might need to be proactive in making these changes happen. If you’re ready to move forward in your career, try these 10 ways to show that you’re ready for the next steps.

1. Talk about it with people you trust

It can be difficult to process how you are feeling about your work and whether you need a change of scenery, a change in role, or if you need to take on more responsibility. If you’re still unsure, speak to someone you trust about it. This could be a work colleague or a family member who knows you well. Point out the things that you’d like to be doing more of and ask if they think you’re ready for the next step.

10 Ways To Show You're Ready For The Next Step In Your Career CMD Recruitment

2. Find a mentor

A mentor can help to guide you in the next steps and keep you on track and accountable. There may be formal opportunities in your workplace, or you may have to ask around to see if anyone is looking to take on a mentee. Remember that you need to commit to putting in the work, as a mentor is unlikely to want to help someone who won’t help themselves. Follow their advice and make sure you follow up on the steps they recommend, even if they don’t make sense to you.

3. Identify skills gaps

You might feel more confident taking the next steps if you know where you fall short. Look at where you are now and where you want to be, then identify any skills gaps that might be preventing you from achieving your goals.

4. Take a course

Once you know where your skills gaps lie, it’s time to take action. A great way to show that you’re ready for the next stage in your career is to undergo training. This will show that you’re willing to put in the work and that you’re proactive in your approach to your career.

10 Ways To Show You're Ready For The Next Step In Your Career CMD Recruitment

5. Ask for more responsibility

You don’t have to take the next step in your career all at once, you could gradually move into a new role by asking for more responsibility. This will give your employer a chance to give you a trial run and avoid the risk of overwhelming you with too much new responsibility at once. 

6. Volunteer for roles

When you’re in team meetings and your supervisor is asking for volunteers to take the lead on projects, now is the time to speak up. By taking on a leadership role – no matter how small – you will demonstrate to the decision makers in your company that you are actively taking steps towards the next stages in your career. You may even be able to carve out a new role for yourself that includes more of what you love and less of what you don’t love.

7. Ask for feedback

When you’ve completed a project or task, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. You’ll need to develop a thick skin and remember that feedback isn’t always pleasant. You might disagree with the feedback, but you need to take it on board anyway. Asking for feedback will give you a new perspective on your work performance, so be ready for a dose of reality.

10 Ways To Show You're Ready For The Next Step In Your Career CMD Recruitment

8. Request an appraisal

In addition to feedback on individual tasks and projects, you can also request more general feedback on your performance. Many companies have a system in place to deliver an appraisal periodically, usually once a year. If you haven’t had one for a while, speak to your line manager about arranging one. This is a great opportunity to find out if your employer has any doubts about your ability to take the next step in your career.

9. Ask for a change in role

If you think you’re ready for the next steps and you’ve completed everything above, then it’s time to put your thoughts into action. Speak to your employer and let them know that you are seriously considering your next steps. This gives them an opportunity to match your enthusiasm and work with you to adjust your role, or place you in a new role. If they don’t, this could be a sign that they don’t value your contribution. 

10. Apply for new opportunities

If your current employer is reluctant to let you move into a new role, this could be because of many reasons. The most common is that you are valuable in your current role and replacing you would mean more work for them. Many people will simply stay put in a role if their employer says they aren’t ready. But you aren’t most people! 

10 Ways To Show You're Ready For The Next Step In Your Career CMD Recruitment

If your employer isn’t on board with your proposed changes, don’t be afraid to start looking elsewhere. Starting in a new role can be easier, as you’ll have the benefit of an induction and introductory period. This can help you to adjust to your new role and feel more confident driving your career forward.

Key takeaway

Your career will become stagnant if you don’t take steps to drive things forward. This is unlikely to happen if you aren’t proactive and take steps to change things. By letting your employer know that you’re ready for the next steps in your career, you can pave the way for new challenges and opportunities that weren’t there before.

To achieve this, you need to engage in some self-reflection, ask for feedback, and create opportunities for yourself if they aren’t already there. Through these steps, you can ensure your career keeps moving forward and you are always challenging yourself to become better at your role.

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