Promotions. Raises. Bonuses.

On the job, we work hard for these things throughout our careers. Our employers typically grant them after evaluating our performance and value to the company.

Value to the company? Yes. As employees, we are resources (the most valuable resources) to our companies. When it comes to advancement within our companies, it is our responsibility to make sure that we earn it AND that our employers know it. Hard work, collaboration, and relationship-building are great ways to earn it. However, there are other important ways.

Employers want to see that you are developing and seeking opportunities to do so. The more advanced your knowledge and skills become, the better it is for the company. Increasing your relative value to the company, increases the company’s value.

Webinars and conferences are great opportunities for professional development and networking that will make you a more valuable asset to your employer. Regardless of the industry, there are many industry organizations and networking groups to join. There are new webinars being offered every day – many of them free. There are also conferences, which feature many seminars and networking opportunities.

Your employer may find and suggest them. They may not. Either way, it is our responsibility to make sure we seek out and pursue growth opportunities. It is also our responsibility to make sure that they know about it!

Here are some simple steps that have worked for me:

  1. Connect with industry organizations in your area of business – subscribe to their newsletters, follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter, and regularly check their event calendar.
  2. Subscribe to industry publications and publications within your area of expertise – for example, if you’re a marketing specialist at a mobile software company, subscribe to mobile software publications AND marketing professional publications
  3. Search for and register for at least one new webinar every quarter – every month, if possible; many of them are free; if you make yourself sit down and register, you can plan out your whole year!
  4. Search for conferences within your industry and within your area of expertise; pitch the idea to your supervisor, who may allow you to go and may even secure funding for you to do so
  5. While doing all of these things, BRAINSTORM! This word is overused but very important. Brainstorm! Think of ways to use your skills and knowledge to make your company better; lessons learned through your professional development experiences can benefit your company

The more you try some of the above steps you follow these steps and keep working hard, your value to your company will appreciate, helping you get to where you want to be. If you want the promotion, raise, or bonus you’ve been seeking, this will hopefully get you  on the right track!