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Become the next apprentice – 5 steps you can take to progress at work

On27/ 10 /16

Become the next apprentice

It's that time of year again – the apprentice has hit our screens with its usual mix of strong personalities, failed tasks and boardroom clashes.

Whilst this makes great television, ultimately Lord Sugar is looking for the candidate with the skillset, and attitude that will help them grow into a trusted business partner.

We all want to progress in our careers, but it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint the precise steps.

With this in mind, we explore some ideas to help you move forward and develop in the workplace.

1. Identify Your Strengths

First of all, identify where you contribute most value to the business. What essential tasks do you do day-to-day? What unique skills do you offer?

Once you have established where your key strengths lie, you should consider how you could use them further. This might mean volunteering for a company initiative or even asking your boss to delegate you a new responsibility.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t work on other areas or skills. However, by focusing on your strengths, you will give yourself the best chance of progressing in your role.

2. Be Your Own Management Consultant

In order to keep improving at work, it can help to put your management consultant hat on every once in a while.

Taking a step back and casting an objective eye over your work should help you to identify what’s working and not working. Are you using out-dated processes because it’s what you’ve always done? Could your monthly reporting be improved? 

Try to identify where meaningful gains could be made and suggest these to your boss. This will show you commitment both to your own personal progression and to that of the company. It will also demonstrate your ability to come up with new ideas.

3. Set Clear Goals

Clearly you can’t move forward if you don’t know where you’re going, yet this is the way many employees approach their careers.

Most of us will have specific objectives tied into our company’s appraisal process, however by developing your own clear short and long term career goals, you will give yourself the best chance of keeping your career on track.

Try to make sure your goals are as specific as possible and review them regularly. You will probably find that they evolve along with your career.

4. Define Your Priorities

It’s impossible to do everything, so if you want to progress at work, you’re going to need to learn how to prioritise effectively.

Each day, you will have a number of important tasks vying for your attention. The key is to identify those tasks that could make a meaningful difference to the business.

You need to become quite strict with yourself here – yes that email may look important but does it really need to be answered straight away?

Drawing up a schedule and then sticking to it is the name of the game. It can help to write out your schedule for the next day each evening. This will stop you from wasting time in the morning and leave you free to tackle your most valuable tasks straight away.

5. Keep Expanding Your Knowledge Base

There are always untapped ways to develop your skills and knowledge. Could you spend some time learning about another department or do some online training? 

Diversifying your skill-base could lead to countless new opportunities that take your career forward.

If you are interested in developing you career, Bucks and Berks is here to help. We have more than 50 years experience in finding the right roles for our candidates. Contact us to speak to one of our consultants today.
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