You can’t be complacent if you want to grow your career. Even if you’re not currently an active job searcher – and especially if you are – there are things you should do on a routine basis to keep growing and advancing in your field.
5 Steps To A Better Career
1. Be a lifelong learner.
By constantly getting better at what you do, you become more valuable to your team, customers, company and industry.
- Knowing more than the next person is a competitive advantage. As noted in a recent Washington Post article, “with today’s more competitive business environment, learning is not just a nice thing to do – it’s essential for staying on top of things … None of us can afford to remain stagnant in our knowledge.”
- Bring learning tools with you wherever you go. The accessibility of current technologies and mobile options make this easy. And, you can approach learning on your own terms and time frame.
2. Share your goals with your boss.
In your immediate supervisor, create a career partner who can help broaden your experience and your professional network.
- Proactively engage your manager in discussions about your career plans. Collaborate to flesh out the steps and strategies needed to turn your ideas into reality.
- Gather information to make educated decisions. The best leaders are open and willing to share their success stories, contacts and advice.
3. Never stop networking.
Cast your professional net – and then continue to widen it.
- Quality trumps quantity. Figure out who matters the most, whether it’s a coworker, customer, vendor, friend or family member. These are the contacts whose presence in your life is clearly most valuable to your career. Keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
- To really connect with someone, find a way to help them. Networking is a two-way street. Learn a contact’s desires and concerns, and then find a way to address them.
4. Optimize your social media presence.
Social media can be an integral part of your career advancement strategy – if you use it correctly.
- Build a social network in advance of when you need it. Be prepared to be found on social media, whether it’s by a prospective employer or a recruiter.
- Keep everything up to date. Start with your LinkedIn profile. Make sure in incudes your most recent professional information.
- Make sure all your profiles are work-appropriate. It’s common for employers to Google candidates, so clear your online presence of anything that may hinder you from getting a job.
5. Find a mentor.
A mentor is an experienced colleague who can provide invaluable guidance as you advance in your career. Because they’re on a higher rung on the career ladder, mentors have access to opportunities beyond your current reach.
- Your mentor may learn about job opportunities and alert you to them. And, since they know which skills and traits are valued in your field, they can point you in the right direction regarding investing in your continuing education.
- If your company has a formal mentoring program, use it to your advantage. Otherwise, see out a mentor on your own. Consult your network, including your professional organization – and if you don’t already belong to one, consider joining.
Are you looking for a new job?
For additional career growth tips, resources and market intelligence, contact the professional recruiters at TRC Professional Solutions. We’ll get you started today on the path to success.