JOBS & CAREER

Ideas for boosting your career prospects at any level

Most people want to enjoy a successful and satisfying career, no matter what industry they work in or the type of job they have. Yet it’s all too easy to become stuck in a job rut. In order to break out of it, the first step is to change your mindset and acknowledge that it’s possible to improve your career prospects at any point! After that, it’s time for action.

Read on to get some top tips on how you can level up your work-life – starting right now.

Set clear goals

When thinking about career prospects, it’s helpful to have a vision of what you’re aiming for. Take some time to consider where you want to be in 3, 5, and 10 years’ time – then work out what you need to do now to get there. Try to make your goals as specific as possible (for example, by using SMART goals), and then break them down into more manageable mini ones to hit along the way. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to dream big!

Polish up your resume and digital presence

If you intend to apply for a new job, it’s vital to make sure that your resume is perfect. It’s often the first contact you will have with an employer – and you don’t want it to be the last! Check that it looks neat and professional, has all of the most up-to-date information about your qualifications and experience, and is free of spelling and grammar errors. It’s also wise to take a look at your social media presence, as some companies check this before deciding whether to offer an interview.

Study for a formal qualification

Undertaking a professional education program is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd. These days you can study for many qualifications virtually in fields as varied as nursing, leadership, law, and finance. You can even do more specific courses that are not as well known but can offer you the chance to stand out upon completing them. For example, if you’re in law enforcement or working as a first responder or mental health professional, you could do a top-level online forensics science certificate to learn how to effectively mitigate and prevent conflict and violence in your work environment. Taking such a course demonstrates your commitment to personal development, in addition to boosting your knowledge and practical skills. If you attend college while working, you won’t have to take a pay cut either.

Improve your soft skills

As well as boosting your industry-specific knowledge and skills, it’s crucial to work on your so-called ‘soft skills’. These are talents that will come in useful no matter what job you do, such as communication, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking, time management, and organization. Take an honest look at your current abilities and see which skills need some work, then tackle the challenge using short courses, online articles, books, videos, and similar resources.

Network

In most industries, networking is an effective way to broaden your professional contacts and get your name out there. It can help you to find out about new opportunities, get some advice, and discuss ideas and developments with your peers. All of this can give you an edge when it comes to job applications and interviews, not to mention it enables you to gain confidence and make new friends. So next time you hear about a conference or workshop you like the sound of, be brave and sign up! You never know where it might lead.

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