3 Tips for Accelerating Your Career When You’re Not Geographically Mobile

We represent an increasingly less geographically mobile society than our predecessors. Technology permits us to be virtually anywhere, anytime. With advanced technology, employees are no longer necessarily required to change geography to avail themselves of the next great job opportunity. However, geographical mobility remains a key factor in accelerating a career in many business lines, including public sector jobs.

Not everyone can pick up and move at the drop of a hat. Reasons differ, but family obligations, health issues and devalued homes in today’s economy come to mind. Perhaps you’ve been fortunate to reach the peak of your career in your current physical location without uprooting your personal life. If so, take a moment to pat yourself on the back! However, what if you still have vigorous ambition to be upwardly mobile within your career path, yet you cannot commit to physically relocate?

Here are three tips to help you stay put geographically and still accelerate your career:

  • Request a temporary detail. This could be your golden opportunity to learn new skills, try out a different line of work, and network with a diverse group of people! A short-term assignment, rotation or detail benefits both the employee and the organization. Meet with your boss to explore this tool for career growth. For the employee, benefits include increased marketable skills and reduced burnout. For the organization, critical vacant positions can be temporarily filled while navigating the often-lengthy process of recruiting and hiring. Your boss also has a chance to evaluate your potential for future career growth within your organization!
  • Accept a lateral reassignment. Check with your Human Resources Department to see what specialized skills you already possess that might qualify you for an equivalent role in your current organization. With a lateral reassignment, you demonstrate your willingness to meet your organization’s needs regardless of pecuniary gain while simultaneously acquiring new skills you can showcase for future opportunities. You can keep your current pay, stay physically put, and yet steam ahead toward a new career path!
  • Practice your internal and external networking. Networking is a proven way to advance your career, boost your interpersonal skills and build your confidence. Expand your internal network by nurturing your relationships with your peers, your boss and your superiors up the chain. Additionally, introduce yourself to key people outside of your current network you think may professionally challenge you. Don’t forget about the rule of first impressions when making new connections!

If these tips still aren’t successful for you, take an honest inventory of your employable skills. Think creatively and innovatively. Take advantage of your networking proficiency to link with friends, neighbors and community leaders in your local area. You may discover remote or virtual career growth opportunities within your geographical area you didn’t even know existed which would utilize your strengths. You just never know what robust possibilities may await you!

Sherrie P. Mitchell is part of the GovLoop Featured Contributor program, where we feature articles by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Contributor posts, click here.

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