What do you want to do in the future?
These are questions that you should ask yourself when advancement in your career becomes important.
Possible next levels for a tester are:
1. Specialize more in what you do
You can do this by exploring in depth the type of testing that you know already.
Let's say that your current job is manual tester.
You do manual testing by
- creating test plans and test cases
- executing the test cases
- finding bugs and logging them
You can expand your manual testing skills and knowledge by learning
- exploratory testing: test without creating first test cases; exploratory testing consists in simultaneous learning of the application, designing test scenarios, executing them, finding bugs and logging them
- lateral thinking: learn to think creatively and out of the box about using and testing a system
- mind mapping
- test design techniques
2. Become a cross-functional tester
You can become a cross-functional tester by expanding your knowledge and skills in types of testing like
- test automation
- performance testing
- usability testing
- accessibility testing
- web testing
- mobile testing
- web service testing
- become more technical
Being able to do different types of testing makes you more versatile, multi-faceted and multi-talented.
You can also expand your knowledge and skills in disciplines related to testing like
- software development life cycle: development and testing processes
- source control systems
- code reviews
- unit testing
- set up and monitor test environments
- log analysis
The multiple and diverse skills will allow you to target many types of testing jobs in the future.
3. Change the direction of your testing career by focusing completely on a different testing type
You can decide that you will just do test automation or performance testing in the future, for example.
Being focused on one direction only means that you will have more expertise but also that the number of jobs that you can apply for will be smaller.
4. Become a test consultant
5. Become a test lead