Career Advice Career Guidance and Counselling

Get ahead at work

It is important to take responsibility for your own career development and growth. This way, you are more likely to secure a promotion and get your career to where you want it to be. Set yourself career goals and know what steps you need to undertake to work towards achieving them.

For example, your goal might be promotion to team leader. In your present role, you could offer to chair meetings, manage projects and train others in an area of proficiency. If you see a need associated with the job function you'd like to be promoted into, then volunteer for additional duties in this area.

If you do not see a need, ask what additional tasks you can take on to assist the business. Employers value team players. More importantly, by taking on additional duties in the area into which you'd like to be promoted, you are proving yourself capable of performing the job function to which you aspire - before you ask for the actual promotion.

You could also seek a mentor, attend short courses or workshops, or learn by watching how the high-performers in your company or industry go about their business.

Obviously you need to be outstanding at your current job, so don't forget to excel in your current areas of responsibility while striving to show you can do more.

Finally, if it's a higher salary you are after, remember that while salary increases are usually associated with any promotion, they are not by any means guaranteed. It would not be out of the ordinary to only receive a nominal increase. Instead, focus on the long-term benefits to your career, rather than just a short-term monetary gain.

Marc Burrage, regional director of Hays in Hong Kong