Moving Up: How to Get Ahead in Your Career


By Ashley Rego

If you are looking to truly succeed and get ahead in your profession, you’ll want to strive to be the individual who stands out far above the rest. Once you make that true commitment to becoming a star at work, your life could change in a remarkable way.
So what does it take for someone in the medical laboratory profession to get ahead in the organization? We’ve summarized a list of ten proven strategies on how to advance in your career.
#1: Talk to your boss

Sit down and have a very direct and pointed conversation with your superior about your future in the company. Stress that you want your performance to meet the company’s goals and share your own career goals. Your boss will respect this display of confidence and maturity.

#2: Ask for more work

Offering to help out other departments—or simply asking for more responsibilities—increases your value within the company. Asking for additional tasks shows an interest and desire to help your department to succeed.

#3: Volunteer

If you have your career set on something beyond what you are doing in your present position, seek out opportunities to volunteer or serve on advisory boards, where you can build a reputation as someone who is passionate and dedicated to your profession. Take advantage of opportunities provided to you by national societies within the profession. There are many benefits to volunteering such as, personal growth, professional enhancement, and networking opportunities.

#4: Sharpen your people skills

Strong interpersonal skills play a crucial role in gaining the respect of both your boss and co-workers; they will also attract the notice of outside influencers who might open new doors of opportunity for you. Be friendly, outgoing, and personable. Listen carefully to people, and practice being a clear and effective communicator.

#5: Be Innovative

Never be afraid to think outside the box and put your professional insight to work. Stay on the lookout for innovative solutions to problems that will make you—and your boss—look good.

#6: Find a mentor

Develop mentoring relationships, either inside or outside of your company. Recent studies have shown that four out of five promotions are influenced by a mentor higher up in the company. Mentors are also great sources of information and career guidance.

#7: Sell yourself

Learn the fine art of self-promotion. If you have had major accomplishments or created successful programs, make sure people know about it—especially those in influential positions who could help you advance professionally. Let it be known that you are seeking a promotion or the next step up in your career.

#8: Keep Learning

A proven way to advance in your career is to be continually acquiring new knowledge. Stay on top of trends or developments in your field and make sure that your current resume reflects those needed skills. Consider expanding on your knowledge by taking on professional development courses, attending conferences, subscribing to magazines, reading blogs or even by social influences.

#9: Expand your network

Strengthen your personal network by joining professional organizations, attending industry conferences, or even volunteering. Keeping up on community forums will also help you to connect with others in your profession. The more people who are aware of your strength and abilities, the better your chances of hearing about any new opportunities that might arise.

#10: Build your reputation

Your reputation is the most valuable thing you own. Be known for being dependable, professional, and cooperative. Make a name for yourself. Combining all of these strategies will help you to build your character and mold your reputation.
Landing that “dream job” is not about luck- you’ll need to make it happen. Do the ground work and be ready when opportunity knocks. Showing investment and dedication to improve your professional growth and job performance can help your promotion. You must be vigilant and stay alert; make sure your hand goes up before others realize there’s an opportunity.


Ashley Rego is the Marketing and Communications Associate at the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS). This article originally appeared in the Career Centre on the CSMLS website. It has been republished here with permission. For more information, visit