Money·4 min read

8 Ways to Give Your Career a Boost Without Quitting

Woman holding laptop in an office
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
March 28, 2022

Boosting your career can mean scoring a raise, moving into a new role, and gaining new skills. And you don’t need to join the Great Resignation to get there. Quitting won't necessarily equal better jobs, coworkers, or purpose. You can advance your career without quitting your job. 

How can I level up at work?

Ask for a raise.

Especially with the wage gap still very real, it’s important that you advocate for yourself financially. Need tips on how to negotiate your salary? Start by doing your research. Look on sites like Glassdoor to see what the average salary is for your position at your experience level in your location (even if you WFH). And if you’re nervous about approaching your manager, talk to your HR department about the appropriate steps to take. Or if you have a coworker you feel comfortable confiding in, ask for their advice.

Ask for a promotion.

If you like what you’re doing, but want to start really leveling up, ask for a promotion. But do your research first. Figure out what someone in a higher role’s responsibilities are, and review your past (and present) work to see if you can make a connection between your current and future responsibilities. Don’t skimp yourself here. If you get that promotion, get that raise. 

Build new skills.

Whether you’re thinking of changing career paths or asking for a promotion, building new skills can help you get to that point. Whether that’s attending a seminar or completing a certification, it can aid you in asking for a raise or promotion or in switching fields. Btw: See if your employer will cover the cost.

Change departments.

Try looking into different departments in your current company to see if there is one that better aligns with your career goals. You could do this by asking to shadow a coworker or sit in on a meeting to get an idea of what their day-to-day looks like. 

How can I make work fit my lifestyle?

Establish boundaries.

Burnout is as real as the pay gap. And if anything, the pandemic proved that everyone needs to take care of themselves and value their personal lives. So say no to staying an hour late or working on a Saturday. Reclaim your time to reclaim your headspace. 

Hand off some work.

If boundaries aren’t the problem, but your actual workload is, think about reallocating some of it. See if someone else is up for taking on tasks you're ready to pass off. And use your newfound extra time to focus on you and your goals. 

But…what even is the point of work?

We get it. Current events (for the past couple years) might make it hard to find meaning in your job or to focus on work. And connecting only by Zoom can leave us feeling, well, disconnected. A couple things you can do: 

Reconnect with coworkers.

Taking the time to get to know the people you work with can help you feel more in sync with your company and excited to start each workday. If you're remote, think about starting an after-work activity like a book club or inviting a coworker for a get-to-know-you Zoom. If you’re in person, consider asking a coworker to grab lunch or coffee. Especially if you’re thinking about transitioning into a different department, networking like this can help. 

Talk to your supervisor.

If you’re just having a generally difficult time figuring out what the point of *hand motions* all this is, take the time to find purpose in your role. Talk with your supervisor about your personal goals and how they align with the company mission. Then see how you can adapt your day-to-day tasks and larger projects to better fit your purpose. And keep your manager and HR in the loop. They may be able to help you get to where you want to be. And it’ll keep the relationship healthy.


Sometimes you can give your career a boost without saying 'see ya' to your company. But if you've tried all you can to make it work at work — like establishing boundaries and adjusting your workload — and the weight of your role still feels not worth it, then be sure to quit your job the right way.

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