The social sciences and the tertiary sector are competitive industries to excel in if you are looking to start a career, particularly in industries such as law enforcement and social care. However, the social sciences can be incredibly fulfilling careers and can help you to develop a range of personal skills such as communication and teamwork. If you are looking to advance your career in the social sciences or looking at leadership roles, this article will detail some of the best solutions that can help you to increase your chances of promotion and the opportunities available to meet your career goals.

1. Get Extra Qualifications

Gaining the correct qualifications for the career role that you are aiming towards is important and can help you to stand out against your competition. Whilst most social sciences and jobs in the tertiary sector have compulsory qualification requirements such as a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement, there are other qualifications that you can take to develop your CV and ensure that you are fully prepared for the job at hand, allowing you to stand out to potential employees. You should look into taking short academic university courses such as a Masters, as this will build upon your existing qualifications, help to give you the practical experience and knowledge that you need, and can even help you find career opportunities. For instance, click here to find out about Laurier’s Bachelor of policing, which can help to improve on the skills of those already working within the forces, and which can be completed online from any location, allowing you to work whilst you study. This will then help to advance your career by giving you the extra skills that you need to take the next step and gain a promotion.

2. Apply to Training Courses

Training courses are often developed for the specific sector that you are working within and can help you to develop a specific skill which you feel needs improving within your repertoire. Training courses can provide you with more practical experience than academic qualifications and often take place over a couple of days or on a weekly basis, allowing you to use these to complement your workload in the tertiary sector. When applying to training courses, you should find one which caters towards an aspect of your career that you feel may be holding you back from promotion, such as your communications skills. Training courses are often led by industry professionals and trained experts, meaning that you can get the best advice and guidance from experts who are trained in your specific industry. What’s more, many sectors and industries will support training courses and will be happy to discuss how they can reimburse you for these courses in order that you reinvest your skills back into the workplace once you have completed the course in question.

3. Find Professional Experience

You should also look at finding professional experience if you are starting out in your career as this will help you to develop your knowledge of the sector and how businesses in the social sciences are run. Not only will professional experience ensure that you look prepared and engaged with the modern workplace on your resume, as well as being dedicated and reliable, but it will also allow you to have the edge on the experience which many workplaces look for on a CV. You can find professional experience by searching for apprenticeship, placement and work experience schemes in your local area, as most big businesses and workforces run schemes like these to help young people and those starting off in their career decide on their career path and understand the sector which they are aiming to work in better. You can also find professional experience by contacting your local workforce by email or telephone to discuss your options, as many businesses that do not run work experience schemes will be happy to allow work experience on an individual basis if contacted personally. Through these schemes, you will be able to shadow professionals, understand the running of a business, and develop some of the necessary skills that you need to succeed.

4. Volunteer With a Local Group

You should also look into volunteering at a local group or club that enables you to learn some of the skills necessary for your career, such as leadership, dedication and resilience. Many of the tertiary forces also have youth groups such as Youth Police Volunteers and St Johns Ambulance who you can volunteer to help lead and run, which can help you to advance your career by allowing you to gain knowledge of the forces whilst improving your skills within that particular sector specifically. In fact, even volunteering with a charity or a group outside of your sector can help you advance your career by showing you to be dedicated and by allowing you to gain relevant experience whilst you look for work. Volunteering will allow you to gain the practical experience that you need as well, especially since you will be learning important transferable skills, and you should look at joining local committees and clubs which can help to expand your knowledge and help you with your communication and leadership skills.

5. Join a Mentorship Scheme

Many large businesses, including those in the tertiary sector, run mentorship schemes which allow young people or those just starting their career to be paired with those that are experienced and highly trained in their industry. This allows those that are new to the career to learn skills and get advice from those with an extensive knowledge of the sector. Not only this, but finding a mentor can provide encouragement, help young people to find career opportunities, understand what their industry is looking for in terms of new staff, and provide a worthy contact through which beginners may be able to receive experience, opportunities, jobs, and network with others in the industry in order to advance their career. Not only this, but many businesses run mentorship schemes within their company, allowing you to get a first-hand insight into the specific business in which you are working in order to improve your skills specific to that job and advance up the company through preparing for promotions.

6. Ask to Shadow or Do a Department Exchange

If you already work in law enforcement or social sciences and are looking for a way to advance, then you should ask to shadow other employees in your department, or ask to do an exchange with another department for a day or two. Shadowing allows you to learn more about any positions that you are applying for, how the business runs as a whole, and about the demands of other positions. This can act as a type of training if you are looking for a promotion, or simply want to learn new skills which can help to advance your career in the future. Many large companies already run pre-established schemes which allow you to shadow other departments in order to help you to prepare for different roles and understand the company dynamics better, and so you should ask your manager if this is possible for you.

7. Consider Your Contacts

When looking to advance your career, it can sometimes be a world of who you know rather than what you know. The age-old maxim rings true in every sector and industry and so it is important that you make as many contacts as possible throughout your career. If you are looking to advance, you should ask your contacts in the industry whether they know about any opportunities which would suit you or any roles or work experience which they know about. To increase the amount of contacts that you have in your industry, you should attend networking events for your industry where you will get the opportunity to interact with others in your line of business who can give you advice and guidance, who you can learn knowledge from, and who can make viable contacts for all of your career needs in the future. Other ways to get contacts in the industry is through options such as work experience, volunteering, and speaking to family and friends about whether they have any contacts within the tertiary sector or the industry which you are considering a career within.

8. Find Career Opportunities

You should also look outside your current job role or the company that you work within in order to find the career opportunities that suit you. Most companies hire and promote internally even though they advertise the position to external applicants. However, if your company does not have room for advancement or you feel as if you are consistently overlooked, then you may want to look further afield for a viable career opportunity. You can do this by searching career boards and job listings such as the popular Indeed, which provide filters so that you can find openings by industry. However, there are also many industry-specific job listings websites where you can find opportunities directly related to your sector and industry, as well as apprenticeship and internship programs which can help to start your career from scratch with little viable experience already on your CV. You can also find opportunities by directly contacting large companies or checking company websites who may be able to help you find a position or save your CV for when one arises.

9. Perform Thorough Research

You can also advance your career through performing professional research into your career and industry, as well as to improve the potential skills that you need. Although research will not directly lead to a promotion or job opportunity, it can help you to advance your up-to-date knowledge of the sector and have a broader understanding of the sector which you are deciding to go into. You can perform research through simple acts such as keeping updated with newspapers and independent industry periodicals which deal with the subject and career which you are aiming to go into. There are also many online resources and websites which can give you almost live updates and expand your knowledge of certain aspects of your industry. If you want to look at more academic research, you should visit your local library or use article or university databases which can help you to search for and find scholarly articles which can complement your existing knowledge of the tertiary sector. Not only will this advance your knowledge, but this will help you to improve your interview technique by having an in-depth knowledge in response to complex questions.

10. Improve Personal Skills

Many businesses look to hire or promote employees look to see what personal skills you have when they are presented with a CV. Then, it is important that you increase these general skills in order to increase the likelihood of your promotion. These include skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, technological skills, and commitment. You can improve these through hobbies and activities which allow you to build upon transferable skills which you can then utilize in the workplace, such as team building and bonding. This will help your personal growth and enable you to show that you have a well-rounded personality. You can also improve your personal skills by joining clubs and societies, as well as committees and groups that work locally, as well as attending public speaking and networking events which can help to advance your skills on a personal level.

The social sciences are exciting and changeable industries full of fulfilling career options for both people looking to change their careers, those looking for promotion, and those just entering the world of work. As someone looking to advance their career, there are many options available to help you to achieve your goals and have a long and successful career. From finding the right experience to improving on your personal skills, there are a multitude of options which can help to boost both your personal and career orientated growth which you can then reinvest into advancing your career.