When you are looking to advance your career you need to gain recognition above and beyond the skills and responsibilities you demonstrate now. What you do right now is perfect for the role you currently hold. The next step up, or the step above that even, has completely different criteria that you will either need to demonstrate, or demonstrate capability of, to reach.
One thing you can do is get trained. Go on a course, take a professional qualification, or an academic qualification and show that you have the necessary knowledge. If knowledge alone was enough to conquer the world then the global leaders would be professors; we know this is not true, so what else do you need?
The next thing you can do is gain some experience; go and offer your services for little or no money if necessary, during your spare time, so that you build a bank of experience that you can call upon to enhance your career. Two boxes ticked. What more can you do?
Gain confidence; two major components for feeling confident about anything are having the knowledge and having the experience, so once you have trained to do something and practiced it a few times then you should feel confident that you are able to undertake that field of expertise as a full-time job. Confidence can also be practiced. Plan what you will say about yourself now. Along with your new skills, your story has changed. So update it and practice telling it. You need to do this out loud. Ideally to a person that can give you feedback, but if you need to build your confidence to get to that stage, or there is no-one handy to rehearse in-front of then use a double-handed trick; rehearse in-front of the mirror so you can see yourself and tape what you say so that you can play it back. We are often immune to our own speech patterns and it can be quite surprising to hear yourself ‘um’ and ‘ah’ and ‘like’ or ‘you know’ through an entire conversation. Watch some confident people speak. Check out TV presenters. Mimic some of their behaviour. Notice how they manage to string sensible sentences together without adding any of the fillers mentioned above.
Have you noticed how much confidence you have in a person that has self-confidence. When a person tells you that they can do something with an air of assuredness you believe them. This is a major factor in stepping-up.
Finally, be transparent. What do I mean by this? I guess you could describe it as honesty. Don’t try to suggest that you have been dabbling in your new area for twenty years if you only first heard of it two years ago. Time is not necessarily a factor in the equation of career advancement. Yes of course job specs contain phrases like ‘must have X years of experience’ but in all my time in recruitment the average number to replace X was three years and the truth is that companies hire people with passion more often than people with paper-based skills. Time and again the best candidate on paper is beaten to the job by the outsider who has the x-factor.
For help cultivating your own 'x-factor' or making the transition from where you are to where you want to be please contact one of our Consultant Coaches at email@example.com