You have the skills and papers, but employers aren’t biting

This has to be one of the most frustrating career progression hurdles. You know that you have the right papers and experience to boot, but your job search to the next level of your career is simply unfruitful. That promotion that you eye seems so near yet so far. You keep getting feedback that you were among the best candidates, yet you’re not getting any offers. Someone else was just a “better fit” for the position. You might even begin to doubt if you are as marketable as you thought you were. Your move to the next step of your career ladder or landing that promotion needs to be well strategised. Here is how to go about it.

1.    Look within

You need to understand that most companies advertise for positions which they intend to fill from within. Do not focus too much on shifting from your company with the hope of finding a better paying position in a rival company. You may want to change your environment, but do not jump ship too soon. Companies have become overly selective. Keep an eye out on your company’s job offers and grow from there. Prove to your superiors that you can provide immediate value to your firm by discharging even the tiniest of responsibilities faithfully.

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2.    Reassess your ambitions

Applying for a different job in vain is not only a waste of your time but also counterproductive on your morale. It takes time and effort to reach the peak of your career. The little projects handed over to you to monitor and evaluate could be potential avenues to better opportunities for progression.

3.    Work with someone smarter

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You will gain knowledge and critical thinking skills by simply observing and learning from an example. Do not allow your ego and insecurities to make you resistant to heed this piece of advice. There is no mystery to this strategy. A smart boss or team mate will propel your career by ensuring growth both professionally and personally and unleash the corporate leader in you. Do not seek to out-expert the experts, smarter people will always exist. Instead, strive to learn and expand your knowledge base. Clever, well-read and skilled people require less management; and the more reliable you get, the closer you get to the peak position.

4.    Explore something new

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Learn a new skill. What are your peers doing or using that you seem to be lagging behind? Work may seem too familiar and with time, all we do becomes stale and stagnant. It is not normal to keep living and working the same way day after day, year after year. Pry yourself loose from the jaws of mediocrity and stimulate your creativity. Forging new work experiences will broaden your options and make you more marketable.

5.    Showcase your skills

Do not hide your expertise and skills behind your current job title. Market yourself strategically by getting involved in projects that give you room to showcase your skills. No matter how bored you are with your current job, you need to keep yourself in the game.

6. Be cautious when you register for further studies

We sometimes enroll for further studies in the hopes that the trends in the job market will be better with additional papers. Just make sure that the cost of a higher degree or short course will increase your salary exponentially. Avoid landing into debt to finance your higher education with no guarantee of a promotion or a better paycheck after completion.

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7. Keep trying

“You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take”.  Start from where you are and build yourself up from there. Work hard and smart toward what you want. Push yourself a little bit further. Do not take your eyes off the goal. Keep at it and let not the process consume you.

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