If you want to get promoted, you need your employer to recognise your contribution. Taking on new tasks and learning new skills can help with this. Sometimes you may need to change employers to develop your career.
Decide what you're aiming for
Look at roles in your organisation and on job websites to find the type of job you want to have. Look at the required skills and experience. Think about what skills you already have and which ones you need to develop.
People might wrongly assume that you're happy with your current job. Challenge this in a positive way by showing that you're keen to explore new ideas. Think about the experience you've gained and what you can do. Ask yourself:
What do you like about your current job?
What are your strengths?
What are you doing well?
What skills do you want to develop?
What goals do you want to achieve?
Take on new duties
It might be easier to take on new duties in a smaller organisation, but it might be easier to move between roles in a larger organisation. For example, moving on from being a receptionist by becoming a secretary or executive assistant.
Looking at job specifications for the role you want can help you to see what experience or qualifications are needed.
Talk to a manager you trust about what kind of new duties and projects you might be able to take on. These should help you to develop the skills you need. Agree to take on work that you feel comfortable doing or work with someone who is more experienced. Be realistic about how much extra work you can do.
Ask your manager to review how things are going. This will allow them to give you feedback.
Ask for training
Ask about learning and development in your organisation. If your employer cannot pay for you to learn new skills, you could ask about some independent study. You could also ask about working in another team or shadowing someone doing a different job. This will help you to understand what a different role is like.
Online learning can be an effective way of learning new skills. You can access some of the courses for free:
A mentor can help you to think about things differently and to plan. Big organisations might have their own 'buddy' system. Ask your HR department.
Make a list of people you respect who work in your field. If they are doing or have done your dream job, all the better. Once you have this list, try approaching them. Many will be happy to help and may be flattered to be asked for their advice. Start by looking on LinkedIn or Twitter. Personal recommendations are also good.