Top Tips for Successful Career Progression

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 May 2021

To make sure that your career path is progressive and you keep improving your skills and income, you must plan your career progression. Sometimes you may increase your ranking in the same company or move to a new company to work in a higher level position. After figuring out the role you want to become, you can devise a plan to help progress your career. In this article, we'll elaborate on how career progression works and the right steps to follow.

What is career progression?

Career progression is changing jobs to reach the position you desire in your working life. You can move forward by getting a promotion, finding new opportunities, new challenges, alternative employment, or by simply getting the most out of your career. Career progression has no limitations, and many aspects contribute to the change of positions.

Some professions have a clear career path, which can help them reach their desired rank or salary expectations. Therefore, it's good to understand your industry and what you desire to make an informed plan on the career path you want. You can also progress your career in a different field to get the necessary skills to achieve your goals.

Related: How to Change Careers

Tips for career progression

Here are some tips to help you plan your career progression path:


Networking is one of the most effective ways of career progression, as you only need to appear in conferences and meetings to connect with people. You can start by connecting with people within your company or those closest to your work. Networking with other workers can help you share your skills and knowledge with others. If you wish to progress your career to a different profession, knowing people in the industry can also be helpful.

There are many places where you can network with people other than your workplace. Some top places to network include conferences, training events and networking events. While networking, find people who can help you progress in your career as you help others. Someone may notice your potential and assist you or invite you for an interview.

Related: How to Move Forward After Being Laid Off

Make a plan

Having a plan outlines your career path from where you are to where you want to be. When you make a plan, it helps keep you focused, and you can work towards your next career step. Planning makes it easy to identify your goals based on how you wish to shape your career. After identifying the position that you desire to become, find out where you in relation to that. A plan will make it easy for you to monitor and gauge your progress and find out if your career path is progressive.

Use your appraisals

Take both praise and criticism as a helpful gesture towards developing your career. Your critics can help you become better by improving your work performance. Your praises give you the motivation to do more challenging work in your particular field. Therefore, when you get appraisals, you can use them as a stepping stone to elevate you to the next step in your career.

Appraisals help you keep track of your progress in your career and give you an opportunity to set and develop your goals. If you are hoping for promotions to progress your career, take this opportunity to express your goals to your supervisors.

Stay motivated to exceed your goals

When you get to a position that earns you more money, don't stop pursuing your progression goals. If your current company doesn't support progression in your preferred direction, it could be best if you choose to move on to a new organization. Your dreams should not be limited to your current employment. Instead, it would be best if you focused on improving your skills by finding new opportunities. Working in a company with no clear progress plan for its employees makes it tough for you to progress.

Know your industry

New technology comes into play every day and it affects how everything operates, including your industry. Therefore, if you are looking for ways to progress your career, learn every day to become an expert in your industry. Use technology to equip yourself with the tools and knowledge to improve your performance.

When the company adopts new technology, be among the first to understand how you can use it to affect your industry's operations. Ensure to stay updated with news and journals about your field. Stay informed by learning something new and equipping yourself with credible information positions you for progression.

Improve your skills

If you are looking to compete for top positions, plan and stay ahead of your competitors. Improve your skills to perform tough duties that most people cannot accomplish in that position. Your employer is likely to reward the person who shows efforts and the ability to perform better at a higher position. Ensure to keep time to work and occasionally complete your tasks and exceed your goals.

Speak up

Speaking with your employers regularly can help you speed up your chances of fulfilling your career goals. When you feel ready to advance in your career, attempt to speak with your employer to elevate you to a higher position. You can also make them understand that you have expectations to advance your career during your interview.

Discussing with your employer the possibilities of your career progression and steps that you should take can make it easier for you to plan for career advancement. When you speak, you're actively putting your career goals into action. Speaking to your employer also enhances your ability to shape your career's future and positions you in a better place for consideration.

Find a mentor

Mentors play a significant role in determining your career progression. A mentor guides you by identifying the skills you need to succeed. Mentors can give you the support you need if you face difficulties in your career and give you advice on how they handled the challenges of their career progression.

Your mentor can be a friend or expert, being someone in the same industry or working in the industry you intend to advance to. Most successful people will provide you with directions where applicable and offer career advice.

Set goals

To progress in your career, set goals that will guide you through the process of career progression. While setting your goals, ensure that they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. With the SMART goal plan, it can be easy for you to evaluate your goals and keep track of the things you achieved along the way. The SMART plan also helps you advance your skills, hence positioning you for greatness while within your comfort. It also helps you to keep motivated and focused on the things that matter in your specific industry.

Related: How to Create an Actionable Personal Development Plan

The importance of career progression

Here are the top reasons why career progression is important:

Improving your skills

Progressing to a new career can help improve your skills. You ought to keep progressing to take on new challenges and improve your employability skills. This can also increase your productivity and hence your performance in the workplace. For instance, if you are a team member, you can try managing the team to learn how to help teams tackle challenges they often face. You can ask your employer for a promotion to take on new challenging positions.

Gives a sense of purpose

As you progress in your career, you are more likely to feel motivated to work. This is because you can get new opportunities that may make you feel relevant in your organisation. Working in the same position for a long-time can be stressful and unhealthy. Progressing in your position can help you feel more confident and self-assured, therefore reducing your stress.

Increasing your earnings

Promoting internally eliminates the need for companies to conduct recruitments and orientation of new employees. Therefore, you can save the company the costs of hiring, orientation process and adopting new employees to the company culture. Therefore, you can take this opportunity to ask for a pay rise as you take more responsibilities. Since you are helping your employers save on costs, they can willingly give you a decent salary increment.

Taking on new challenges

Working with people who have the same enthusiasm creates a power team around the office. When you see everyone around you striving to perfect their role, it encourages you to improve on yourself. This creates dynamic energy in the workplace and the effects enhance how you conduct business and your life. Working together as a team also improves customer experience that creates opportunities for company growth.

Global career shift

The industry in the global market is changing and progressing in your career helps you improve your employability in many companies or positions. As trends in the larger market change, personal progression ensures that you remain marketable as it equips you with new skills to meet the current industry demands.