The best ways to forward your environmental career

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No matter what career stage you are at, the question of how to further your career is never far from mind

There are a lot of things you need to think about before you commit to progressing your career. You need to prioritise your goals. Think about the career itself - is this a role you want to pursue in the long-term? Think about the pros and cons of the role you’re going after, understand the responsibilities you’ll need to undertake and think about what skills you may need before you progress.

Set your career goals

Is this really the role you want? Write out a pros and cons list about the role. Try to think about the responsibilities you’ll need to undertake and the skills you need to move on. Is this something you are ready for right now, or something that you will need to work towards as a long-term goal?

Take on new responsibilities

Understand that your new role will come with new responsibilities. Prepare yourself for this by finding out what new tasks you will be required to deal with and try adopting a few of them in your current position. This will show that you are keen to progress and are able to handle the pressures your next job may throw at you.

Learn new skills

It can be helpful to understand what you’ll need to learn to progress to your next role. Talk to your employers or HR about what skills or qualifications you may need to progress. Research the role you want, see what abilities it requires and determine what you need to work on to get to that stage. Have a look at learning and development opportunities inside and out of your workplace and look at the IEMA’s training courses for some online skills development. If you have the time and resources, have a look at part time higher learning courses that are available to you at universities and colleges.

Apply your knowledge

Try to apply your newfound knowledge to the work you do in your current job. Why? Because the best practise you can get is by applying it on the job. Your employers will take notice of the drive you are showing towards your professional development - something that can work in your favour when trying to further your career.

Grow and learn from your experiences

Progress from your current role by taking responsibility for your actions - good or bad. Having the maturity to take accountability for the work you do as well as ensuring you provide or work towards solutions for the mistakes you make shows your employer that you not only have an all round perspective on your job role but that you have the professional growth to undertake full responsibility for it. This can prove that you’re ready for the next step.

Network online and offline

Try to make long lasting connections with those in your company and those outside of it. It does help knowing the right people, but don’t rely on it. Your capabilities, aptitude and skills should still be at the forefront of your career move, although the recommendations your peers give you are valuable too.

Don’t settle

If your company is not offering the opportunities you are seeking to move up - move on. It may be time for you to seek greener pastures, to find a position and company that will help forward your career.