Advance Your Career With These 10 Tips!
The world is full of universal truths. 1+1=2, e=MC^2, and stepping on legos just plain hurts.
But when it comes to professional development, did you know there are also some universal truths?
That’s right, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a CEO, a nine-to-fiver, or an old-timey newspaper boy, there’s some solid advice we can give you that will help you advance your career towards whatever goals you’ve set for yourself. “Extra, extra!” Let’s read all about it…
1. Curate Your Online Presence Like A Portfolio
If you’re a designer or work in the arts, chances are you have already built up a portfolio of your work. But let’s go beyond that: what if you treated your whole online persona like a catalogue of your accomplishments and used it to shape the way others see you?
When job searching, you already know recruiters are scoping you out online before offering you a job. But people do the same thing when they consider offering you ANY kind of opportunity!
Start by laying out what you bring to the table as a professional, then show you mean business by crafting that message cohesively across all your social media profiles and personal websites.
Some ideas include making blogs and posting regular social content. Consider focusing on videos you can share — more than half of all people watch at least 5 videos online every day — and build up some evergreen content that you can leave up for people to find at any time.
2. Get Educated
Even the greatest masters are always studying up on their field.
Finding workshops, course certificates, or degrees/diplomas that can provide you concrete evidence that you are well-learned in your area of interest are exemplary for building your authority as a professional. Plus, they have the added benefit of making your work more interesting, and often easier!
Study programs are also great for students making the transition from school to the workforce, and for people who have less experience in their industry than their dream job typically requires.
3. You Should Never Not Network
You catch more fish when you cast a wider net, and you create more opportunity when you create a wider network for yourself!
By attending networking events, meetups, trade shows, and participating in online discussions, you can cement yourself as a part of your industry while also building the connections that become relationships, which in turn become opportunities for growth.
Some of your contacts may simply be people who now have your name and info, some may be people you can lean on for favors, and some may be your next potential chance to advance! The key is to leave no stone unturned, and to keep turning strangers into your supporters.
4. Workout Your Communication Skills
Most of the time, it’s not what we say, but how we say it. As Marshall McLuhan famously said, “the medium is the message”.
That’s why it’s so important to practice and develop your communication skills, in order to get what you want and to interact effectively and concisely with others. And as more and more business shifts online, and face-to-face chats become less common, learning how to communicate properly on different channels is more important than ever!
5. Read, Read, Read
Processing new information and new perspectives strengthens our brains and prepares us to handle new situations before they’ve even happened. It also improves our critical thinking skills, and our empathy.
There is almost nothing you cannot learn from a book, and almost no subject that hasn’t been written about. Whenever you feel a challenge in your career, look to books to help you find your way through!
6. Keep Up With The Joneses
There’s a lot to learn when striking out into a new field. Each industry demands certain skill sets and follows certain trends that are prerequisites to success.
But a true professional doesn’t just keep up with the status quo; they keep up with the cutting edge!
Look at what the leading professionals in your line of work are learning and practicing nowadays. Follow news sources about advancements in technology and ideas that will give you a glimpse of what’s coming down the road, so you can be ready to ride the wave of emerging trends!
7. Look The Part
You know it. You’ve heard it . The age-old adage: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
While you might be tired of hearing it, don’t retire this wisdom. How you dress and present yourself is one of the most integral ways that other people see you and make determinations about who you are as a person. So if you want to be seen as C-Level material, lose the jeans.
8. Get A Mentor
No one knows the road you’re on better than someone who’s walked it before.
Mentors can be leaders in your field, or seasoned professionals with worldly wisdom that applies to business in general. It should be someone you look up to and admire, and who can really help you.
Many people are worried this imposes on the mentor, but truthfully most mentors enjoy sharing their ideas and helping you build your own roadmap. And, if you’re looking for another way to advance, mentoring others is a surefire way to establish yourself as an expert!
9. Fiscal Responsibility
They say time is money, but no money is just a recipe for stress. And when you’re stressed and desperate, you don’t make the best decision for the future, only for the present moment.
Don’t put yourself in a position where you pick a path because of debts. Give yourself the financial freedom to go where you choose to based on your dreams instead.
10. Set Your Own Goals
If you’re reading this article on advancing your career, you’ve definitely given some thought to what you want to achieve. However, have you taken the time to break down that long term goal into regular goalposts? Are you able to measure your progress, and are you being realistic about how much you can accomplish at once?
If you’re consistently failing to meet the goals you set for yourself, break them into bite-sized pieces and commit to one thing at a time. Look for ways you can improve your approach to the little goals, and eventually those little goalposts will line the road to your ultimate success.
These are just some of the universal truths for professional development.
What else will help you advance in your career?