Lately I have been having discussions with both close friends and distant acquaintances on “leveling up” in your career, along the way I have formulated a few thoughts on this topic.
Do the job you want, not the job you have
It is a well understood concept that you should start doing elements of the job you would like to be promoted into before you get the promotion, so figure out what those elements are and do them when opportunity allows.
Raise your hand
Is there a project that your management team has talked about but doesn’t know who to assign it to? Raise your hand. Is there a learning opportunity relevant to your organization’s needs that you can attend and bring back useful information? Raise your hand. Is there a project that requires a little travel to a different site? Raise your hand.
Level up your organizations knowledge
While doing the work expected of your current role, figure out what knowledge you could learn and bring back into the team to help the organization level up. It could be a new tool/library, testing methodology, way of working or anything else as long as it has some direct relevance.
Level up your knowledge
This is the most important one, do whatever it takes to continuously learn and surround yourself with peers who have the knowledge you would like to have. If you feel it has been awhile since you have learned something new, find something and spend a little (or a lot!) of time getting proficient at it. Always learning, always growing should be the mantra.
Let me qualify these statements by making clear that deriving satisfaction from work output and career trajectory is great, but there is more to life than a career so put this advice into context. Aspire to have balance in all things.