Get the Safety Promotion of Your Dreams

So you’re passionate about workplace safety and feel like your career has reached a plateau. A position where you work has just opened up or maybe you see an opportunity to create a new safety position within your company. But how do you achieve the safety promotion of your dreams and reach your full potential as a professional? Follow the recommendations and tips below on ways to get promoted.

Develop a Career Plan

A career plan is a personal road map that helps you determine your skills and interests, what career best suits your talents, and what skills and training you need for your chosen career. A career plan can assist you in almost any stage of your safety career, but can be especially helpful if you are striving to get promoted to a safety leadership position. By developing a career plan, you can focus on what you want to do and how to get there.

There are various templates you can use for your career plan. You should choose a format that helps you stay focused on your end goal. Any plan should include a career goal(s), the requirements of the position you are seeking, your current skills/interests, and your plan to reach your career goal(s).

Each of these career plan components are discussed below using a sample career plan for an individual seeking a safety manager position at a market leading commercial construction company. A similar format could be used for a different safety position in another industry.

Career Goal

To become a safety manager at a leading commercial construction company.
Requirements of the Position

  • Bachelor’s degree in Health, Safety or related field
  • A working knowledge of related safety regulations
  • Experience developing and implementing safety programs
  • Experience in HSE Management Systems
  • Relevant certification in Safety and/or Environment (OSHAssociation UK Certified Safety and Health Manager, etc.)
  • Knowledge and ability in utilizing MS Office applications and Internet
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to effectively present information in a group setting
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to respond to emergency situations
  • Time management
  • Current CPR/First Aid certification
  • Detail-oriented
  • Ability to delegate to and empower others
  • Ability to maintain positive perspective in the face of setback, resistance, and shifting priorities

Action Plan to Reach Career Goal

  • Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHAssociation) Membership
  • Yearly refresher training with OSHA to stay up-to-date on current laws and standards on best practice
  • Apply for the Certified OSHAssociation UK Safety and Health Manager credential
  • Volunteer to help with more of the safety measures the safety committee is developing
  • Develop ideas to improve safety for each company worked for and effective ways to implement safety plans
  • Get more safety management experience through internship program

Get a Mentor

Finding the right mentor is an important step to meeting your career goals. Whether you are trying to break into a field or get promoted, a good mentor can point out your blind spots, offer suggestions, celebrate your successes, and guide your career.
Mentor relationships can be formal or informal. Whether your mentor is a friend, family member, or someone you work with, be sure to choose a mentor you can talk to openly and honestly about work-related issues—especially those which relate to safety. It is also vital your mentor be more experienced than you are; you will want a mentor who knows what it takes to reach the safety position you are seeking to be promoted to. In order to develop an effective mentor relationship, you will need to find a mentor, ask for help, and do something for them.

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