Take ownership of your career stakeholders

You followed the rules and done it by the book – after getting your University diploma you were hired as an apprentice in a big, well established company. After year or two, you even managed to change to the department that provided more visibility and you are working on major projects.

You even got your MBA in the meantime, it was expensive but you meet successful people outside of your company, and now you have a feeling that you could develop your career faster. Is there a nagging feeling of being stuck in the middle and not knowing what to do next ?

Person working on career advancement plan
Career advancement is a process

Have you considered that maybe you were focusing on the wrong part of the problem – on you? You are not the only decision maker when it comes to your career. There are many stakeholders that influence your career advancement, both positively and negatively (be sure to check out the article on this topic). It’s your task to take ownership over those relationships and you need to learn how to manage your career stakeholders!

What is the difference between career advancement and career development?

Major difference between Career advancement and Career development is in your approach and proactivity. Career development is a given expectation for individuals in a certain position, with specific skills and direct superior support. Career advancement is about searching for possibilities to boost the career progression, and it is a combination of soft and hard skills building.

Career advancement plan

When you are creating your career advancement plan, you are making decision about your social circle (current and future) and your skill set (also current and future). Social circle means everybody that have a direct or indirect impact on your career – from superiors, coworkers or people that can help you with relevant information. Skill set is referring to all the capabilities you have that can make a difference (so – writing in Word should not be here, unless you have a pretty good reason behind).

If you are just starting with systematic approach to career advancement, create a matrix with these two variables (social circle and skill set) with time dimension (now and future).

Career advancement matrix
Beginner’s step starts with situation overview

Matrix is a visualization of the long term goal that you want to achieve (bottom right field) and 2 different paths that can get you there. For full success you have to work on both topics (social circle and skill set), but depending on your strengths you can prioritize one over the other. Approach is especially helpful for people with lower networking skills (or will) as extension of social circle doesn’t come natural to them and demands more time and mental resources to make it happen. If you are an introvert, we extracted few guidelines that can help you in career advancement .

Everything mentioned here is just a beginning of the journey, we cover the details through our posts on this page – so don’t miss our updates!