Making a few small changes can give you a career boost that gets you a great promotion or starts you on the path to a new career. Fortunately, there are loads of resources out there – many you can take advantage of right from your couch! Whether you boost your career through online courses or take on new challenges at work they are all within your grasp.

Get a Career Boost with a Skills Refresh

young designer getting a career boost from an online course

Most of us use the same skills over and over each day whether you are making sales calls, analyzing spreadsheets, or writing proposals the repetitive nature of most jobs might be bad for your ability to break out of your current role and take your career to the next level. If the next rung or two up the career ladder requires management skills or public speaking and your current job doesn’t offer many ways to demonstrate that you need to find ways to practice and hone those skills.

It’s also possible you’ve been told during a review to that you might want to work on some areas. I got my first major bonus, raise and promotion all in one fell swoop just by getting certified. While I didn’t love the class I took to get certified it paid off for me both in the short and long term.

The skills you need to advance can range widely. If no one has mentioned any specifically to you see if you can find a job description for the position you aspire to and figure out what skills you need to acquire. A career boost might simply mean volunteering for different projects and assignments. Sometimes technical skills are required. A good friend legged into a great sales position after she took courses in AI and robotics so she could communicate better with both her clients and the R&D group at her firm. When looking for classes we recommend taking a look at the roster at Coursera. Their online courses are provided by top global universities like Stanford, Michigan, Penn, and Duke.  It’s rarely a bad idea to add one of those names to your resume!

Get a Career Boost by Taking More Risks

I’m not advocating an expedition to Mt. Everest but you may want to ask yourself if you are positioning yourself as a leader. Simply completing the tasks you are assigned is a great way to tread water but not a great way to stand apart from the crowd. If there aren’t a ton of new opportunities for you to volunteer for you might need to create them for your self. For instance, maybe the sales department would benefit from a new weekly briefing from the research group. Of course, you’ll need not just make the suggestion that they could benefit from it you’ll have to put it together. By spearheading a new initiative you are demonstrating you are forward-thinking, have the best interest of your company in mind and aren’t afraid of risks.

Get a Career Boost by Asking for One!

How long has it been since you’ve discussed a raise or promotion with your supervisor? Its possible your manager doesn’t even realize you are interested in a position. One of my friends was blown away by how happy her firm was when she mentioned she was interested in an open position. Her manager was sure she didn’t want the additional travel involved and never would have known if she didn’t ask.

Asking for a raise, a bigger bonus, a promotion or looking for a new job can be nervewracking. I’ve always felt lucky to have had an employer that insisted several of us take a negotiation course like these from Yale, University of Michigan, and Northwestern offered through Coursera. Not only did it help me with that particular job it helped me negotiate starting salaries, bonuses, and even the price of a new car. Before most negotiations, I like to remind myself that usually, I’m not negotiating with the other person’s wallet. While your boss might have a limited budget for the department since your salary isn’t coming out of his personal savings account it shouldn’t get overly contentious when you ask for more. It may also be a good tactic to point out how the firm as a whole will benefit from your new position, bonus, or raise. Really, won’t they benefit from the extra energy and dedication you’ll surely have?


Great Courses to Help With A Career Boost:

  • Negotiation (Yale)
  • Financial Modeling (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Social Media Marketing (Northwestern)
  • Cyber Security (University of Georgia)
  • Data Analysis (Duke)
  • Innovative Solutions for Aging Populations (University of Copenhagen)
  • Sales Strategies (University of Chicago)

You never know what’s around the corner! Being proactive and taking that first step will only lead to more and more opportunities.


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