Employees want to feel professional success and earn all the perks that come with it: a higher salary, engaging work, and increasing responsibility. Especially considering the challenges posed by COVID-19, the benefits of a professionally successful work life are particularly desirable.
Despite the difficulties associated with working remotely and anxieties about the pandemic, employees have maintained a positive mentality surrounding professional success. According to a recent survey, 86% of workers feel professionally successful.
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However, the survey also found that employees aren’t taking full advantage of opportunities meant to boost professional success in the workplace. The report found:
- 23% of workers actively involve themselves in professional networking
- 15% of employees have a mentor
- 20% of employees serve as a mentor for a colleague
- Only 8% of employees negotiated their salaries in the past year
Very few employees are engaging in activities that will boost their professional success even further. This article will discuss the benefits of engaging in these activities to extend the longevity of their professional success.
Engage In Networking Opportunities
Fewer than one in four people are still networking. While it’s not as easy to network through in-person conferences and events during COVID-19, there are still plenty of opportunities to build your network in a remote capacity.
Why spend time meeting professionals outside of your workspace or industry?
Aside from benefiting from building a new relationship with someone, there are plenty of perks that come with professional networking.
First, networking can serve as a pathway for future opportunities. After meeting like-minded professionals, your connection could be helpful when looking for a new position or hoping to secure a new client.
People with solid networks are likely to be more professionally successful because they can rely on a system of connections to solve career-related problems.
Additionally, building networks increases the diversity of experts and resources within your reach. Individuals within your network can serve as expert sources of information or trends within their industry. Their insider knowledge can help you stay at the forefront of various industries without overexertion.
Connections can definitely be beneficial, but even the act of networking can boost core professional skills needed for success. Networking exercises develop comfort with discussing your work life, leading to increased self-confidence in career-oriented conversations and job interviews.
Networking is great practice for professional conversations that will occur throughout everyone’s careers.
Consider Mentorship Programs
While mentorship is a popular internal avenue for professional success, very few employees are mentees or mentors.
Mentorship, whether you’re a mentor or mentee, helps employees achieve professional success within their own companies while providing relationship-based professional development.
As a mentor, workers take on a unique leadership role within their company. The responsibility of guiding a mentee as they start a new position helps more tenured employees build upon soft skills and leadership. Robert Half lists the following as benefits to becoming a mentor:
- Job satisfaction
- Leadership skills development
- Stronger internal networks
- Motivation for professional development
Serving as a mentor encourages accountability, especially as new mentees onboard into new, unfamiliar positions. Aiding a new teammate helps mentors feel successful in their roles. On the other hand, mentees also feel professionally successful when part of a mentorship program.
Starting a new role can be challenging, but mentors provide a source of encouragement and guidance. That positions mentees to gain comfort in their new roles quickly. Mentors are key to knowledge transfer and skill development associated with core roles.
Knowledge sharing can also function as a two-way street. While mentees are learning about how their new roles work, they can also share their own knowledge and experiences with their mentors.
Companies match mentees and mentors up to maximize value and encourage knowledge sharing between parties. Engaging in mentorship enables all participating members to grow professionally by learning from one another.
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Negotiate Your Salary
Negotiating salaries with your manager can be intimidating, but it can be important to bolstering a sense of professional success.
While only about 8% of people negotiated their salaries in 2020, negotiations can have lasting benefits for your career.
Salaries generally follow employees from job to job. Employers commonly ask job candidates about their past salaries during interviews. That means that your current salary may lay the foundation for pay in future roles.
In a job market where employees move from companies and positions with more frequency than in the past, these salary conversations are more relevant and critical.
Not to mention that those who negotiate their salaries are able to generate more income
than those who don’t.
While negotiating salaries has clear financial benefits, you can also grow in your ability to have crucial conversations with your manager through negotiations. Professionally discussing salaries with researched talking points signals to employers that you understand the value you add to company goals.
When negotiating your salary, it’s important to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and understand what workers with similar titles and backgrounds generally make in the industry.
Experts also recommend that those entering negotiations should avoid naming a figure first. Wait until your manager recommends one and take the conversation from there.
Oftentimes, salaries are more negotiable than workers think. Because salaries are relevant even after you leave your current position, negotiating salaries is important for your professional success in the long term.
Take Steps to Increase Feelings of Professional Success
Employees that feel more professionally successful are happier in their roles and careers. You can take steps to improve your sense of professional success by engaging in certain activities in and outside of work.
Building connections with other professionals through networking can increase your feelings of professional success.
Mentorship programs can also boost professional success for both mentors and mentees. However, programs are often underutilized by both parties.
Lastly, negotiating your salary can be intimidating but can lead to higher pay and more confidence surrounding your professional success.