As the clocks “spring forward” this month, we welcome extended daylight hours and new life springing forth from the earth. It’s a fitting time to consider in creasing the vibrancy of your career. In honor of Spring, we offer 10 tips to help you “spring forward” at work.
#1 Refresh Your Resume — It’s time for a little spring cleaning! Even if you’re not looking for a new job, it’s a good idea to keep your resume up to date. Do a resume review at least once a year, adding new accomplishments. This will help you evaluate your career growth and will enable you to move quickly if you discover a new job opportunity.
#2 Cultivate Your Skillset — If your resume is lacking, give it some growth accelerator! Look for opportunities to develop valuable new skills. This could be through technical training, management classes, educational seminars or industry conferences. Search job postings in your field to see what skills are in demand. Does your company offer tuition reimbursement for continued learning? If not, many low-cost professional development classes are available online.
#3 Develop a Career Plan — Successful businesses have long-range plans, and you should have one, too! Take the time to think about where you want to be in 10 years, and develop a plan to get there. Highly successful people learn to define their desired outcome first, and then reverse engineer the steps to get there. Realize your career goals by starting at the finish line and thinking backwards.
#4 Volunteer — Boost your leadership experience through volunteerism. Sitting on a board for a nonprofit or volunteering your services pro bono can be a great way to boost your resume while building your own skillset. Could you volunteer to serve as a career coach or mentor? Inquire at local colleges, universities and high schools about opportunities. You may learn as much as the students you mentor. It could even help in recruiting future employees!
#5 Find Your Niche — While a broad skillset is beneficial, it’s good to develop expertise in a critical area. Consider how you can become the go-to guy (or gal) for something within your organization. Your value to the team is solidified if you offer a skill no one else seems to have. This will differentiate you from your peers and accelerate your career.
#6 Boost Your Charisma — How likable would your manager and coworkers say you are? Having a healthy amount of charisma is a propellant for career advancement. Research shows that higher levels of charisma translate to higher starting salaries and promotions. Work at boosting your personal magnetism by honing social skills, and look for common ground when talking with new people.
#7 Get Networking — Whether you’re looking for advancement at work or a new position, networking is essential. You need to meet people, find out about their companies and discover potential opportunities. Attend professional networking meetings for your industry and get involved with the local Chamber of Commerce. Network through community groups, clubs or service organizations. You’ll be amazed at how connections outside of your office can help you do your job better.
#8 Start a Career Group — Gather a group of career-minded people to share ideas, support and resources for growing professionally. Bring in people from a diversity of fields, and go outside your friend group to gain greater perspective. Set a meeting schedule and plan your time together to make it productive and issues-focused. Help each other navigate difficult discussions at work and role play negotiations.
#9 Seek Mentorship— Find at least one seasoned professional in your industry who is willing to serve as a mentor. Better yet, create your own “career advisory board.” Having multiple mentors will allow you to learn from a diversity of experiences. Getting varied perspectives from people a “step ahead” in their careers will help you navigate your own career path.
#10 Hire a Professional Coach — Sometimes it’s best to call in a professional. A career coach can help you become a leader at your organization. Professional coaching will help you develop new skills and achieve career goals. A behavioral assessment, or personality test, can help you understand your personal strengths and motivators.
This will help you make the best career choices and seek the opportunities which will lead to greater success. Brink Results offers expertise in training and consulting for organizations and individuals to help you spring forward in your career!