No matter where you are in life in your career, there is always room for improvement. We all would like to get to the top of our career but it takes a lot of motivation, drive, and knowledge. So if you’re looking to do improve your career prospects, here are a few tips to get you heading in the right direction and hopefully you’ll get to where you want to be in your work life.
Study Further Education
Most of us will stop our education after university, with only a few perhaps going on to do a masters or postgraduate qualification like Aston’s online MBA programme, for example. However, we should all have an attitude of constantly wanting to learn something new as there’s always room for improvement, whatever it is in life. You may find that it’s the thing that’s standing in the way of you reaching the next point in your career. Do your research carefully as you want to be sure that you are investing the time and of course the money, in the right course. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Consult with your current employment and don’t be afraid to see if there is an opportunity for them to contribute to your training. It may be that it benefits the company to invest in your future.
Further training and education may be something you need but it might not always be the right time for you in life or financially, so really think about it before committing.
Set Realistic Goals
Goal setting is good for keeping you motivated but it also enables you to stay on track to where you want to head and where you want to end up further down the line. Setting goals should be a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly occasion. These smaller, short term goals might be clearing your inbox by the end of each day or reaching out to X number of clients per week or month. Small goals will contribute to the long-term objectives which might take six to twelve months.
So take some time to sit and note down your goals and don’t forget to revisit what you’ve successfully ticked off and what you haven’t because a lot can happen in a short space of time. There’s also apps and websites in which you can set these goals so you can see them visually and tick them off when you’re done. Wunderlist is a great example and is beneficial if you want one in which a whole team can collaborate and follow on.
Look At Your Progress So Far
Like goal setting, monitoring your progress is something you should be doing. With so many digital and technological advancements, there are a plethora of systems that can help with analysing your performance and that of your work, in much more detail. Keeping tabs on what you’re doing will help you spot any points where you could improve your strategy or change something that might not be working as well as you hoped. We’re lucky that such monitoring software exists like Google Analytics for example because it makes our jobs a lot easier and certain tasks less time-consuming. Being able to track and detail your customer demographic can help you tailor and target what you produce to have an increased effect.
Celebrate Your Achievements
It’s commonplace in many individuals where we only look at and focus on our failures rather than our successes. We don’t give ourselves enough credit or praise when we achieve something both in our careers and in our personal lives. So whether you give yourself a little reward or a big one, it’s important to make every achievement a celebration. That way, you are likely to be more mentally driven to achieve your next milestone if you know that you’re rewarding yourself for it.
Ask Yourself Why?
It’s beneficial to take a moment to reflect on the decisions and steps you’ve taken in life. So if you feel like you have gotten to a point where you’ve lost your sense of direction or feel like you should be moving forward in your career then it’s useful to ask yourself why? Why haven’t you achieved the goal you wanted or the progression you desired? Asking yourself these questions is going to help clear your mind and find the answers you need in order to make the decisions of what to do next. And it’s ok to go through this from time to time.
Challenge The Fears
Success apparently lies just beyond the outside of your comfort zone. And to some extent, it’s true. A lot of us don’t step out of our comfort zones because it’s scary. We’d rather stick with what feels right but that can possibly hinder any opportunities or chances to take us up the career ladder. So it’s time to fake it till you make it. Challenge your fears by taking on something that scares you and face head-on. That might be approaching someone who may intimidate you in your industry or trying out a new skill that makes you feel a little or a lot out of your depth. Risks are made to be taken so give yourself the opportunity to try it, the worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t pan out the way you wanted and it’s always possible to bounce back. No matter what the fall out at least you can say you tried.
Network To Open Up Opportunities
Networking is a great way of meeting new people and opening up opportunities that could help with your career prospects. There’s always some sort of networking event going on in your local area or within travelling distance. Whatever industry you are in, a networking event whether it’s in the form of a conference or a meet up in a local bar is something to take advantage of. Before networking, if it’s outside of the workplace, arm yourselves with some business cards and any literature that may be worth handing out. This makes you appear more professional and tells the person you are chatting to that you’re serious. If it’s networking with colleagues, try to keep the conversation mixed. Don’t make it all about work because that could potentially dry up the conversation. Throw in some personal questions so that it shows your colleagues that you’re interested in their lives. Networking can also help build your confidence and that will only improve your ability to strive for bigger things in your work.
Ask For Feedback
Feedback is important to everything you do in life because someone is always going to an opinion and knowledge that could in some way benefit or help you grow as an individual. Feedback and constructive criticism should be welcomed with open arms and not something you should be turning your nose up at. Everyone from a peer to a friend can be helpful in giving their viewpoint so listen to the advice given. However, not every piece of feedback or constructive criticism is relevant and so you should pick and choose what you decide to act on and what you put aside. There will be advice that comes with good intentions but don’t forget that’s not always the case. Some people do like to fight dirty!
Spend Time On Your Wellbeing
It’s a thing that’s definitely touched on a lot more now and that more people are aware of. Your wellbeing which includes both your mental and physical health should always come first. Be sure to set time aside to spend time caring for yourself and having a good level of work and life balance. The reason why you may be stalling within your career may come from not enough rest or time spent away from your desk at work. It’s the little things that can end up making a big difference so whether it’s a night in front of the TV or a city weekend break away, take time to give yourself a bit of self-care. Encourage your workplace to help you help yourself and something like flexible working may be something you’d benefit from.
Curate Your Work And Experience
When you’ve completed a project or received some sort of coverage or recognition for your work, it’s important to curate it. This is because when future clients or employers want evidence of your previous work, it’s available to them in a portfolio of some sort. It also shows people that you’re proud of what you’ve done so far. So collate all your work so it’s one place that’s easily accessible. Get testimonials or reviews on your work so that you have written and verbal feedback that you can show off.
Everyone follows their own path and gaining a certain amount of success comes at different times in people’s lives. Hopefully, there’s something to take away in this guide that will help you build and improve your own career prospects so that you can work towards your goals and milestones with ease.