Almost all young professionals aspire to be the best in their fields and to receive the pay and benefits that come with that status. Rising through the ranks and excelling in your field will take hard work, discipline and dedication, but there are also a few shortcuts you can take that will help along the way. Here are the top four tricks that every professional should know to become the best in his or her chosen field.

Pursue an Advanced Degree

One of the easiest ways to catapult yourself forward in the world of business is to pursue an advanced university degree. With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be able to get started in almost any professional field, but there will likely still be some positions that won’t be available to you. Getting a master’s degree or higher will open up these opportunities, allowing you to break into leadership roles. Having an advanced degree will also make you more competitive in the job market, making it easier for you to move between companies to pursue better opportunities as you find them.

Often, it’s best to start your career with a bachelor’s degree, then pursue a higher level of education. Doing so will allow you to complement great education with real-world work experience. Since many companies offer educational assistance for employees, you may also be able to save money by taking your master’s while actively working. Since there are a variety of online master’s programs in many business fields, completing your education while you work is easier now than it has ever been before.

Attend Conferences and Seminars

If you want to get ahead in your field, you should be attending conferences and seminars specific to your profession like Success Path Education for real estate. These events are not only great places to learn, but also provide excellent professional networking opportunities. Best of all, where there are professional events, there are recruiters who are scouting out top talent for their own companies. If you’re in the market for a new position, getting noticed at a professional event is one of the best ways to find it.

Become a Thought Leader

Another excellent way to get noticed is to become an authoritative thought leader in your industry. This means creating original and unique content for mass consumption that relates to your field. You can do this by building a professional website or blog, guest posting on existing platforms or mixing the two approaches. Serious commentary and informative content will establish you as a genuine authority in your field, making you a better target for recruiters and positioning you for rapid advancement. Be sure, however, that you only put out content of the highest quality, since it will impact your career and professional life.

Continuously Expand Your Network

This is advice that’s almost as old as modern professional life itself, but networking is still key to making new and better business connections. Take every opportunity you can to network both in the real world and online. For online networking, LinkedIn should be your primary tool. No matter how much digital networking you do, though, don’t forget to make face-to-face connections as well, as these are often more valuable. The more people you know in your field, the better your chances are to excel in your professional life.

Getting to the top in any business is difficult, but these four tips can help you navigate the path to excelling in your chosen field. Whatever you do, always be sure to base your career efforts around delivering great work to your company and your customers. Though tips and tricks like these can help you move up faster, nothing will replace consistent hard work.