smoothmind | Navigating Digital Career Progression

Navigating Digital Career Progression explores smoothmind’s top-three tips to help advance the digital ranks and achieve your Digital career growth goals.

Whether you’re seeking your first Digital role, switching across from another industry vertical, or an already established Digital Professional; the aim is to bring-to-mind, key considerations that may help you in successfully navigating digital career progression.

The Rules Have Changed On Multiple Dimensions

Let’s first set the context here. The world is changing at a rapid rate. With this, we are presented with opportunities to reassess our priorities related to work and life balance. What we do, how we do it and from where it is done, is all up for review! Matching the rate of global change, new innovations in technology, products and services, are all coming to market to service our changing needs. With it comes new opportunities. These may exist in the form of:

  • Levelling-up your role
  • Changing your career path
  • Launching a new business to service unmet consumer or business demand

In tandem, our collective pursuit as a global community to support positive change, means the rules have changed on multiple dimensions. Organisations are adapting to support new ways of normal. As individuals, we too need to keep our finger on the pulse of our career goals, and how these may need to adapt, in order to make sure we remain on track for success. One thing that is certain, is that nothing is certain. Not even our career paths. Therefore we need to maintain a nimble growth mindset to ensure we can maximise potential to achieve our career goals.

With this, smoothmind’s top three tips below are there to help you think about and work towards achieving your desired career path.

Navigating Digital Career Progression

Tip 1 – Reconnect With Yourself

When the game changes, so must we. It’s important therefore, to reevaluate what’s important to you. Both on the personal front, as well as on the work front with your career. With this, smoothmind’s top-tip number one is to reconnect with yourself.

Career progression will mean different things to different people. So it’s important to evaluate what kind of career progression will help you to connect with your purpose and personal motivations for growth!

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Career Goal: What is your career goal and what is your timeline to achieve it?
  • Purpose and Motivations: How does your career goal tap into your purpose and motivations as an individual?
  • Work Culture: Does the working culture, career enablement path, and associated support structure embedded at the company provide a formally recognised progression path to help you achieve this in a realistic timeline?
  • Barriers: Are there any barriers preventing you from advancing to the next stage in your desired career path?
  • Opportunities: What steps can you take to convert those barriers into opportunities for career growth?

If you are looking to get into a Digital career, think about why this is important to you and where you see yourself in the next six, twelve and twenty-four months. In the Digital space, a lot can change in this timeline. It is important to ensure the company you are evaluating, or attempting to navigate career progression with, is able proactively support you in reaching your desired goal on this journey, and in a realistically achievable timeline.

Tip 2 – Take Control

The type of company you choose to work with, can either hinder or accelerate your growth to achieve success. Therefore it’s vital that you take control of your career progression and bring the best version of yourself to the table. In order to do this, make sure you have followed top tip 1 to reconnect with yourself. This is because first and foremost, you need to be true to yourself!

Size of the business

Bearing the above in mind, let’s start with the size of the business. This is since the route to navigating digital career progression is likely to differ according to the size of the business you choose to work for. Because of this, you need to understand how promotions are given at your place of employment. Generally speaking, the larger the size of the business, the more layers of recruiting personnel will be layered in the process. As a consequence, beware that you may find yourself distanced from truly understanding the differing mindsets with regards to internal progression.

Navigating internal digital career progression

If you are looking to advance internally, be sure to capitalise on any formal support structure on offer by your company. Whether that be budget for training courses, events, or certifications, this all helps to develop your skills, capabilities, as well as providing opportunities to network with like-minded peers who you can share your experiences with.

You may have identified some barriers that you need to overcome from top tip 1. If this is the case, take a proactive approach to dealing with these through positive actions. Also keep an open line of communication with your leadership team and seek guidance to help you successfully address these points.

Put yourself forward

Be sure to put yourself up for internal hiring opportunities within the business, where they resonate with your progression goals… especially if you know the unique value you can bring to the table to help make it a success. The worst thing you can do at this stage is not to apply, since after all, if you don’t try, you don’t get.

Remember, it is equally as important that the company is supportive of your growth ambition. If it is unable to create progression opportunities within your desired career progression path, it’s time to start thinking about top tip 1 and what is important to you on your journey… do you attempt to take a different path within your existing company or begin to evaluate alternative options outside of your existing place of employment?

Considering a move to new company

Are you considering a move to a new firm? If so, be sure to understand how the company is likely to support career progression. For example, what would a typical progression path look like over a 12 to 36 month timeline? Make sure you get a feel of this from the different people you speak to in the hiring process, as well as the team you will be working alongside, if given the opportunity.

Tip 3 – It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

It’s not over until it’s over… thinking about it, I am now wondering if this should be top tip 1. This is since life has its’ way of throwing all sorts of obstacles in our way. For anybody who has experience of navigating progression in their career paths, they will most likely tell you that the path is typically non-linear.

The experience of experimenting

This means that as individuals, the experience of experimenting, taking those unexpected forks in the road, and finding our feet is part of the process that helps shape our ultimate successes. Inadvertently this may lead us to take a different path to what we first set-out to accomplish.

The purposes of this article therefore, is to bring the focus back to you, and what drives you to do what you do.

In the grand scheme of things

Ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, the time we live on this planet is short. The time we have to see our goals materialise is unknown. So, it’s about applying a positive mindset. This is to ensure that no matter what your personal experience to date, you have ability to take an outside look-in to reconnect with yourself, as per top tip 1.

It’s up to you

When you bring your authentic-self to the table, and can confidently talk to the unique value this represents, you will win and achieve your desired digital career progression goal. Whether you are seeking your first Digital role, internal career progression, considering a move to a new company, or thinking about setting up a new business; it’s up to you to take that next positive step. After all, it’s not over until it’s over!


  • Gopesh Raichura

    Smoothmind was launched by Gopesh Raichura in 2012. He graduated from the University of Westminster with a B.Sc. (Hons) Industrial Systems and Business Management, with majors in ‘Marketing Management and Strategy’ and ‘Marketing Research’. Gopesh is a London-based Subject Matter Expert, with over twenty years applied Digital industry experience. Gopesh continues to evolve smoothmind as an independent platform for positive change.