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How to take your career into your own hands

Written by Ilse Roosens on 31 July 2018 for Tech Professionals

Listen up folks, ‘cause this article here, is for all you young professionals out there! Yeah, yeah, we know… Exellys has by now become strongly associated with tech, but (and there is BIG but 😉 ) the fact is that although we specialize in matching IT Talents, we wish to nurture ALL talents from various educational backgrounds. That’s why we decided to share our top 4 hacks to accelerate your career.

(1) When an opportunity arises… go for it!

Listen, we know it’s not easy to ask for a raise or a promotion, especially when you’re a starter. Most of us just patiently wait until our managers come to their senses and reward us fr the good work we’ve done. In reality, though, bosses are usually swamped with work and the HR Department has to look after a significant number of employees. Although they mean well, they probably don’t make your career growth their priority. That is why it’s important to be on the lookout for growth opportunities yourself!

For example: there is a job opening within your department that requires a certain skill, let’s say speaking a certain foreign language. You manager doesn’t immediately think of you because you don’t need to speak Portuguese in your current job. But he/she doesn’t know that your mother is Portuguese and that you’ve spent every summer for the last 10 years in Porto with relatives. You might not be a native speaker, but you sure as hell can handle yourself in Portuguese. And you would love to take on that new role. Well, just speak up and take initiative! Let them know you’re up for the challenge and your proactive approach will most likely be rewarded.

career growth

(2) State your ambitions clearly and regularly

What most of us don’t realize, is that we do have a hand in creating the perfect role for ourselves. Haven’t you noticed that some co-workers just magically take on new responsibilities? Or switch roles altogether? Job openings you never knew existed are being filled by new colleagues? The truth is that a good employer, one who cares and understands your ambitions, is willing to create a job that is almost tailored to your skills and ambitions.

In order to be able to do so, she/he needs to know what it is you want from your job. And stating it once, at the beginning of your career simply doesn’t cut it. You have to think about the direction you wish to take and express that during quarterly one-on-one meetings with your manager. He/she will have a better understanding of your needs and this will grant him/her the time to come up with new projects or inquire with other departments whether there are opportunities for you there.

(3) Your growth is your responsibility

We’ve made it quite clear that your growth essentially is your responsibility. Nothing worth having comes easy and it will require some coming out of your comfort zone from your side. Besides voicing your ambitions and seizing opportunities, it really pays off to build a strong network at work. Reach out to colleagues from different departments, go to after work drinks, attend teambuilding events… invest in getting to know your company as well as the people working there. You’ll notice that the more you put yourself out there, the more people will reach out to you for special assignments or interesting projects. And what if you lack a certain skill that would enable you to reach the next level in your career? Or what if you’re quite introverted and don’t know how to speak to co-workers? Still – we don’t mean to be harsh – but it still remains your responsibility. You have to be mindful of both your strong suits and your weak spots and take the necessary measures to hack into your own insecurities and overcome hurdles.

career growth

(4) You’re never done learning so start training

What if your ambition was to become a bodybuilder? Chances are you would be working out at the gym every day, training your muscles. Honestly, there is no difference when it comes to your career. If you want to grow, you have to train. Experience on the job won’t cut it nowadays, especially due to the rapidly changing world we live in. You have to be able to catch up and training helps you with that. If you’re lucky, you’ll receive a training budget from work to spend on improving your hard skills. But what if you’re less lucky? Or what if you would like to work on those soft skills?

As we said in the introduction, we at Exellys, are passionate about nurturing talents. That is why we developed the Start & Grow Smart Programmes. These educational programmes are designed for not only IT graduates but also young IT professionals with up to 3 years of working experience. That’s right, you!

Time to release your full potential

What to expect from our Start & Grow Smart Programmes? Well, the approach is twofold: on the one hand we train your hard and your soft skills. On the other hand, we coach you on both a professional and personal level. And don’t worry, you won’t have to hit the books again! You’ll experience different learning formats (classroom trainings, business games, hackathons, etc.), all highly dynamic, interactive and a lot of fun.

Sparked your interest? Take a look at our website, read all about us, our approach and our programmes and don’t be afraid to take your chances! Remember, your career is your responsibility and no one cares more about your growth than you do… except for Exellys of course!

Written by Ilse Roosens Chief Operating & Financial Officer