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Shifting Career Gears: Are you Ready for your Next Career Level?

Smart professionals focus on their future career moves while they work in their current role. An early start assures that they will reach their goals. It is one thing to get there but are you really ready for the next career level? Have you ever watched Finding Nemo? If not, then this is a spoiler alert. At the end, the fish from the dentist’s office break out of the fish tank and make it into the ocean. This is their whole goal in the movie. When they make it to the ocean, they are all very happy. However, they were literally fish out of water (no pun intended). They looked at each other, cheered, and said “what’s next?” So many times professionals are the same way. They are dying to reach that next career level but what will you do when you get there? Are you prepared to handle all that comes with the next level? Here are five tips that you should consider as you move to the next level.

  1. Have you shifted your mindset? This is really important and so many people miss this crucial step. If you want others to see you in a different light, it all starts in  your mind. If you want a leadership role, have you shifted your mind to be more management-centered? If you want people to see you as a professional instead of a recent graduate, do you now have a mid-level career mindset? The way you speak should change. Every level requires that you step up your game. It starts with you thinking that you are worth your next level.
  2. Have you shifted your behavior? So you want a leadership role, great! Are you showing up for work on time? Are you able to hold yourself and others accountable? Are you engaging in water cooler gossip with your team members? It is important for you to stand out from the crowd. One way is to abandon all behaviors that block your success. Remove any bad habits now and inherit more positive behaviors.
  3. Have you shifted your attire? This is key. I am not a fan of the casual office attire. It is important to dress for success. No one will ever say this but people take you more seriously when you dress the part. Three years ago, I gave up casual Fridays because I wanted to work in a space where my Fridays were just as important as my Mondays. You dress not for your team but for you. I even take myself more seriously when I am dressed the part. If you begin to look the part, you will get noticed. It shows your senior leaders that you can be trusted to represent the organization. Further, when you look the part, it will help shift your mind and your behavior.
  4. Have you shifted your diet and exercise? This one is very similar to #3 but deserves its own point. Exercise and a proper diet are so important as you move forward in your career. You should create a manageable routine and meals that will assist in weight management. The higher you will go in your career, the easier it is for you to stress eat and ditch your workout plan.  It is important for you now to create a routine that  will help decrease your stress levels and keep you in your happy place. Bonus: Professionals love to discuss workout plans and nutrition during small talk. Don’t be left behind!
  5. Have you shifted your presence? This is different from attire. This relates to how others view you. Are you giving off the appearance of an entry level or senior level professional? Do your coworkers take you seriously? Do your direct and senior managers respect your opinions and contributions to the company? If you find yourself answering unfavorably then you must shift your public perception. Be sure to communicate professionally at all times. Be sure that you carry the correct posture. Be engaged during conversations but keep your comments short and sweet. The further you go in your career, the less time others will have for side conversations.  This is not because senior managers feel they are more important but they usually have a lot of meetings and projects on their calendars. It is important that they stay focused on their tasks. 


I cannot tell you how many times I witness seasoned professionals embody their previous roles. It is easy to fall back on what you know. However, it is important to grow your actions along with your promotions.  Start practicing how you will walk into rooms now. Take the time to practice now. When your next career level arrives, you will be ready. #Youareworthmore than acting like the average team member. You are a superstar so take your place. #knowyourworth  and level up! Place taking authority over your career on your #careerkeychain.

Before you make your next  move, consider analyzing  your weaknesses. From there, create a plan to improve your skills. It is recommended that you hire a career coach (like The Career Society) to correct poor habits.

Click here to  schedule a career strategy today. Be sure to use “career20” to receive a 20% discount on all services. #careers #careeradvice #thecareersociery

Courtney N. Rhodes
Courtney N. Rhodes
Courtney Rhodes is a full time HR Professional, Career Coach, Mother, Wife and running enthusiast. Courtney has been writing for "On The Rhodes Again" and "The Career Society" since their inception. She empowers her community with knowledge about family and career opportunities.


  1. Janice says:

    Very informative!! This article is awesome for someone who thinks they are ready to make that career change. I am sharing!

  2. Amy says:

    Great article, Courtney! I am always wanting to move forward and upward in my career, and these are great tips and reminders of where my focus should be. Pinning to share with others!

    • Thank you Amy! We sometimes have to literally shift our actions to align with our goals. Every new position for me required to make moves before I took a new role. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a career strategy session. We would be happy to help you map out your next career moves.

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