How to Advance Your Career ESL Speakers

how to advance your career
How to advance your career, Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Immigrants sometimes wonder how they can move up in their career, not fully understanding the U.S. work culture. This blog offers ideas on how to advance your career, especially for ESL speakers.

Ways to advance your career

Go to professional development workshops

One of the best ways is to attend professional development workshops. Whether it’s paid for by your company or you paying out of pocket, it is well worth the investment. I am not referring to the technical development, although that is a given. I mean the general etiquette of business relationships. How to nurture relationships with colleagues and supervisors. Understanding their jobs, doing what you can to help them achieve their goals.

Networking in professional groups

Attending business networking events is also a good idea. You may have to visit a few before you find one that is relevant to you. Once you find a group that you like, attend the events regularly so you can cultivate your relationship with the friends you’ve made there. The rewards may or may not be immediate. If you enjoy your interactions there, then keep going. At some point, someone is going to hear about an opportunity and will remember that you are the right person for that job.

Find a Mentor

Another way is to seek out a mentor. This is someone you know and have observed for some time and admire their personal qualities and professional accomplishments. Approach that person and share your interest in learning from her. Ask if she would be your mentor. And if she is too busy to take on this role, respect that. Being a mentor is a responsibility. You want someone to take it seriously. And that means time commitment on their part.

The article Career Advancement Tips for Immigrants goes more into this topic. If you find this blog helpful, you might also like How immigrants can build good relationships with their boss.

Estrella Chan coaches immigrants and international professionals in English fluency, interview skills, and public speaking.    You can schedule a session with her at

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