Career Progression

Do you want to get a better job?

If you feel like your job is not challenging you enough, that there is another kind of work that you would enjoy more, or if you want to be making more money, you need to think about career progression.

This is about how you can get from where you are now to where you want to be.

One of the best ways of starting to think about your career progression is to talk to your friends and colleagues about their jobs and work experience, and think about what you enjoy and would be good at. From there you can start to plan your Reverse-Career Path.

You can also get free, professional advice from an independent, trained careers advisor from LearnDirect Careers Advice.

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LearnDirect Careers Advice

You can get free, impartial, one-to-one advice from the LearnDirect Careers Advice line on 08080 100 333. They can help you with anything from

  • planning a change of career,
  • putting your CV together,
  • identifying your transferable skills and
  • improving your interview technique, as well as
  • helping you identify how to further develop your skills.

This is a free call and lines are open 8am - 10pm seven days a week.

You can also find out more about LearnDirect careers advice by clicking on the link in the external links section below.

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Plan your Reverse Career Path

Drawing up a reverse-career path can be one of the best ways to kick start your plan for career progression. To find out how to do this, read on.

Stage 1: The Dream Job

Think about where you want to be in 5 years time - what job do you want to have? If you don't know, have a look at job vacancies that are being advertised and think about what would suit you, in terms of tasks, responsibilities, working conditions and salary. You might also like to talk to friends and colleagues about their work experience and professional goals.

Stage 2: Investigative Call

Once you have decided on your dream job, you need to think about who is doing this job now? Find out which organisations you could be working for in this role and call the reception to ask if you can speak to someone in this position. If you get refused, try a few other organisations - most people will be very happy to have a brief conversation about their work with someone who is genuinely interested.

Tell the person that you are looking to work in this role in the next few years and that you would like to ask them a few questions about how they got into that role. Tell them a little about your current job and work experience, and ask them:

  • What experience they needed to get the job.
  • What positions they had prior to that job that helped them to get that role.
  • What qualifications they think are relevant to the role.
  • How they applied for the job.
  • What they like about the job.
  • What they don’t like about the job.
  • What you would need to do to be in a better position to get the job.

Stage 3: The Reverse Career Map

  • Get a pen and paper and write down your dream job at the top of the page
  • List below what jobs you would need to have gained experience in in order to be successful in getting your dream job.
  • Then list alongside your jobs list what training – if any – you would need to be appropriately qualified to do your dream job.

For a few examples of what your reverse career map might look like, have a look in the attached files section below.

You should now have a clear map of what you need to do next, and the training and experience you need to gain to put yourself in the strongest position to be in your dream job within your defined timeframe. If you need further training, check our adult learning section for the course you are looking for.

Stage 4: Putting your Plan into Action

Look at what jobs are currently available which will help you along your newly defined career path. If you need hints about where to start, check out our job-search support page, which has lots of information about different ways of looking for a new job. Do remember that it often takes a lot of time and effort to be successful in getting a new job, but new opportunities come up all the time. Starting to apply for these jobs will be the first step towards you dream job.

Stage 5: Monitor your Progress

Refer back to your career map at regular intervals, and particularly when you have finished any training or feel settled in your new role. You can then keep an eye on when it might be time to progress to the next stepping stone - whether it be another new job or further training or work experience - and when you will be able to make your dream job a reality.

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Page last updated:

March 27, 2023

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