Tip Sheet Series: Inclusion in Professional Development

Being considered part of the "team" extends beyond social connectivity, it plays a large role in career advancement. Here are some key indicators to give you clues as to how you can advance within your place of work:

1. How good could you be?

Many people have not thought about their long-term careers and simply advance by working hard and being in the right place at the right time. Have you defined what success in your career looks like? This will require some long-term thinking over the next 5-10 years. Establish a goal-oriented timeline. Seek opportunities to acquire new soft and hard skills, breadth of experience and knowledge will contribute to differentiating you from others. Work to build on your strengths and recognize what fulfills you. This makes your extra discretionary effort to improve yourself more tolerable as you are sitting in evening classes or sacrificing weekends to attend a seminar.

2. Have you asked for feedback from your supervisor?

Most people are not mind readers- have you expressed your desires to advance your career those within your management team? Express your interest because your most important sponsor for advancement is your immediate supervisor. Share you long term goals, and you will likely also get feedback on your performance. Be prepared to highlight your problem-solving skills, accomplishments, and positive contributions.

3. Do you know how to get noticed?

Have you done things that differentiate you and demonstrate your good work ethic? Build a performance track record starting up, fixing, innovating, and becoming an efficient problem solver. Seeking opportunities that will allow you to showcase your strengths is your greatest path to advancement. Volunteer for projects or company-wide social activities and behave confidently. Dress neatly and professionally, including when interacting virtually.

4. Are you investing in your abilities as an employee?

Examine your personal profile. This includes the skills you’ve mastered, what gives you the most job satisfaction, and what things you learn quickly. What are your hard or soft skill blind spots? Make a list of what behaviors or experiences you need to start, stop or continue, and what 2-3 things you can start doing immediately.

5. Have you celebrated your successes?

Reward yourself. No matter how small, celebrate your successes! Reading a book, completing a workshop, seminar, or making a positive contribution to your team are all the little things that will allow you to build confidence and momentum towards achieving your goals. Track accomplishments on your goal-oriented timeline and treat yourself to a cherished activity.

6. Is it the right time to leave?

The tradition of a lifelong career is dead! As time goes on in your professional life, things change. Changes in family priorities, job responsibilities, unhappy at work, or chances for advancement are slim. Have you built your professional network? Your network of professional colleagues will offer you one of the best sources for the right next step opportunity. People familiar with you and your accomplishments will serve as a great reference or sponsor for your candidacy within their organization.


1. Verasai, A. (n.d.). 7 Tips to Guarantee Career Advancement. The HR Digest. Retrieved February 26, 2021, from

2. Indeed Career Guide. 9 Tips on How to Get Promoted at Work. Retrieved 23 February 2021, from,

3. Workplace Guidance. Tips for Career Advancement. Retrieved 22 February 2021, from,

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