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Once you have obtained a job that matches your career advancement plan, what can you do to stay on the job?

Commit to ongoing training

Even if you are not formally enrolled in classes, there are still ways to keep your job skills up-to-date. Read more about upgrading your job skills.

Investigate further education

It’s possible that you will need another degree or credential to stay current in your field. Read about going to graduate school.

Be punctual

Employers aren’t likely to promote employees who aren’t at work on time. If you have other responsibilities, such as taking children to school, that regularly prohibit you from arriving on time, talk to your employer about an adjusted schedule. If your boss knows you are going to be 15 minutes late every Thursday but will stay late that day, he or she will be much more forgiving.

You can also read about balancing life, work and school.

Be a team player

Sometime in your career, you will encounter a coworker who is difficult to deal with. Make the decision now to be a team player, no matter what. Chances are your boss knows the person is hard to work with, too.

Be proactive

Today’s employers highly value initiative and analytical skills. These two traits mean that you recognize problems or opportunities for the company to grow, and you take them. If you see an opportunity to improve something, you will want to double-check with your boss first if you have only been on the job for a short while. After some experience, you will know when you can tackle a new project on your own.

Ask for more

It never hurts to ask your boss for more responsibility or an opportunity to learn a new skill. It’s best to have a specific task in mind when you ask for opportunities to learn more. For example, “I’ve noticed that Shannon puts together a lot of our advertisements. I’d like to learn from her and be able to help the company with that task.”

If you feel you have had a productive year and contributed a lot to your employer, you can also ask for more compensation. Set up a meeting with your supervisor. Start by talking about specific things you did that benefited the company, and end by asking for a specific percentage raise. Your boss may ask what the percentage translates to in dollar terms, so make sure you know how much you’re asking for.

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