The next job level sometimes seems elusive.
You’ve put in the time. The blood. The sweat. And of course, the tears.
But sometimes, getting to the next job level seems impossible because no one can see how much you bring to the table and the level of responsibility that you hold.
When you are at that point, getting to the next job level requires being strategic and mindful in making a business case that SELLS, not tells, the full story that you are ready for that next job level.
And it all starts in one place.
Change your career perceptions
How you position yourself lies in how you think of yourself.
It’s about how you align yourself to the next position in your career ladder ascension.
That begins in your resume.
While you may not have held a position in title, perhaps your job duties have strayed into areas that include the level of responsibility that is the next job level up.
So, that’s where you can change your mindset from your current level and start asserting yourself at the higher level.
At the top of your resume, create a job title headline that is an accurate reflection of where your job responsibilities lie. And if you aren’t quite there yet, I would suggest that you proactively ask for stretch assignments and professional development that can help you get there.
But once you have that background, whether you held the title in your actual role or not, you can claim this at the top of your resume.
So let’s say you are a sales manager who really is doing a lot of management, training, and goal setting, which are normal responsibilities of a director.
As long as you have that in your background, it’s time to put SALES DIRECTOR at the top of your resume.
Then provide concrete examples of sales leadership underneath that employment record.
And here’s the trick to also help you make the pivot to the next job level: under your current employer and after you list your current official job title, put in parenthesis (equivalent to: Sales Director).
You are being honest about the official title, but also providing insights as to the level at which you really operate, then providing those concrete examples.
Ask for the promotion
Additionally, beyond the resume, another good way to get to the next job level is to start talking it up, tastefully and discreetly.
Women in particular are not very good about making their career intentions known and advocating for their own advancement.
The success is to ASK for the advancement. Not just assume that your credibility speaks for itself.
Remember that if you don’t advocate, someone else will beat you to the punch. Be clear with your supervisor on your interest in growing your career and the company (make sure these two factors are aligned).
Additionally, as mentioned before, be eager to jump on leadership opportunities, stretch assignments, and professional development trainings.
By constantly adding to your knowledge base, you are advancing your skills, abilities, and knowledge that can also be factors that boost you to the next job level.