Advancing your career, in general, is no easy task. When it comes to working in a corporate environment, it can seem even harder. There are massive amounts of competition out there, but there are also a lot of ways to improve yourself.

Whether you are looking to rise through the ranks of an already established business or striking out on your own to start something entirely new, you will want to gain the right skills to help you advance quickly.

To give you a head start and get off on the right foot, this great guide has been put together to help you advance in your business career.

Make a plan for yourself

When it comes to wanting to have a career, the notion of winging it and simply waiting for opportunities to appear will never help you achieve the success you are capable of. Instead, you need to take meaningful steps to create a career timeline that will provide you with a clear and well-thought-out trajectory.

The best way to write one of these plans is to start at your end goal, the main achievement you want to have got to by the very end of your business career. After this, you will be able to work backward, seeing what achievements need to come before this goal into to make it possible. This timeline should include what promotions you will need, what additional experience, and specifically what qualifications you are going to need. Having a degree in business studies might be a good place to begin, but by itself, it will not be enough to make your stand out from the crowd and get noticed by the higher-ups or, indeed, equip you with the skills needed to start your own company.

Gain additional skills

The key to advancing your career is finding useful, additional skills to strengthen your application for new jobs and promotions.

Master project management

A huge aspect of working in business is project management. From the launching of a new product to the financial reports, every element of your job as a professional business person is divided into various projects.

As an add on to your degree, finding a graduate certificate in project management will help give you the skills you need to succeed. The great thing about a course like this is that you have a choice of optional modules to take alongside the core studies, which means you can tailor your qualification to the specific goals you have in mind for yourself. For example, if you are interested in looking after the financial matters of businesses, doing the accounting module to boost your money management skills will be a great idea. Choosing to do the managing and leading people module of the course will make you better prepared for taking the lead on projects and becoming a boss in the future.

Get up to speed with technology

Technology is something that has become a staple of modern life and has completely revolutionized the way businesses are run, so it is worth taking the time and effort to learn the essential computer skills that are needed to make you even more efficient at your job.

The main software used in most businesses will focus on Microsoft products, but there has been an increasing move to cloud-based office technology, such as Google Drive, which allows multiple members of a team to work on the same document all at once. Finding some evening classes or even just some online tutorials to help brush up on your IT skills will infinitely increase your productivity and confidence at work.

Be prepared for interviews

The final thing you need to give some thought to are interviews. All your career planning and additional qualifications you worked hard to get won’t mean a thing if you cannot effectively communicate about them in a high-pressure situation. Start by getting some tips on how to behave in an interview and make a mental note of them so that you are ready for when the next big opportunity comes along.

For example, something as simple as mastering a firm handshake and confident introduction can mean you make the positive first impression that will get your foot in the door for the job of your dreams.

Succeeding in the business world is no easy task, but with the information in this guide, you will have a much better chance of achieving your goals in no time. Make a plan, make the time to get extra qualifications that will help you stand out, and see your career progress rapidly.