8 Tips to Fast-Track Your Career

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8 Tips to Fast-Track Your Career

Have you ever felt like it is getting harder -- not easier -- for women to obtain senior level positions? Well, according to a recent report, it is.

LeanIn & McKinsey& Co conducted a study that confirmed what many women already feel. "At every stage, women are less eager than men to become a top executive," the study explained. "A majority of companies offer flexibility and career development programs, but many women are not using them."

So in order to get ahead and get those C-suite jobs, it is necessary to be strategic and smart. Here are some tips I've learned over the years on how to fast-track your career to the top.

1. Determine what you want in your career.
In order to get ahead, you first have to identify the type of change you are seeking. Decide whether you want a raise, a higher position or more training and development. Having clarity about the direction you are heading will help you to determine the best way to get where you want to go.

2. Set specific goals for yourself.
Make a list of goals for yourself. Determine what steps need to be taken for you to achieve both long-term career objectives and milestones along the way.

3. Pace yourself.
In addition to setting clear goals, make sure the timelines are realistic. You don't want to end up feeling overwhelmed with your workload. Make sure you are still able to do work efficiently and accurately. It makes no sense to overwork yourself and produce a poor product.

4. Learn from others.
Observe and take notes from those in positions you admire, so you can see how much effort and time will be required from you in the future. Find a mentor, a sponsor or someone in a senior level position you can learn from and develop a relationship.

5. Learn what new tools you will need.
Research education, certifications or experience that may be needed for you to obtain the success you are looking for. It is a good investment to research any new position you are trying to obtain. Knowledge is power.

6. Gain an industry perspective.
Know where your organization/industry is going and understand what you can contribute to making your team more successful. Make sure your supervisor sees you as an asset -- someone necessary to the success of your company.

7. Take on more leadership roles.
Don't be afraid to ask for more. Being assertive and proactive will show that you are able to lean in and take on more. In addition, a more challenging workload will teach you how to manage your time efficiently.

8. Maintain confidence and accountability.
Remain confident in your abilities and believe in yourself. Don't give up. Perform monthly accountability checks to make sure you are completing your goals and are still on the right path to career success.