Proactive Steps To Improve Your Career Prospects
Are you stuck in a dead-end job?
Have you followed a career path you have fallen out of love with?
Are you constantly being turned down for a promotion?
In each case, you have two choices.
Choice 1: Do nothing and stay where you are!
Choice 2: Take proactive steps to improve your career prospects.
If you want to find some semblance of happiness at work, you should, of course, opt for the second choice. You would be crazy not to unless you enjoy being miserable!
You see, many of us spend around 8.8 hours a day at work, and that totals up to around 9,000 hours per year. That’s an awful lot of hours to be unhappy! So, if you are stuck in a position that is taking you nowhere, you do need to do something about it.
1. Create a five-year plan
Your career won’t necessarily improve overnight, but within five years (or less), you could be at a very different place. Therefore, sit down with a pen and paper, or use one of these templates, and brainstorm your goals.
Goals could include ‘getting a promotion’ or ‘being in a particular career.’
Think big, and then list ideas as to how to reach them. These will include things you can do right now and things you can do next week, next month, etc. You might find some ideas in the remainder of this article.
Your plan will give you something to aim towards, so rather than wish you were somewhere else, consider where that somewhere else is, and visualize the path to reaching your goals.
2. Ask for an evaluation
If you’re constantly being passed over for promotion, you need to ask your employer why. There may be some very good reasons, and within the evaluation, you may gain some valuable insight. If any weaknesses are revealed, it might sting a bit, but at least you can work on them to strengthen your case and hopefully get that promotion down the line.
You can also ask for an informal evaluation from friends, family, and past work colleagues. If you are struggling to find employment, for example, the people closest to you might have clues as to what might be wrong. Ask for constructive opinions, and if you get any helpful advice, take note of what has been said and act upon it.
3. Impress your boss
If you’re looking to get promoted, you need to impress your boss. This isn’t about sucking up to them, such as making them cups of tea at hourly intervals and telling them how wonderfully shined their shoes are!
Rather, it’s about putting 100% into your work performance. You should turn up to work on time, and early if possible. You should make every effort to do your best work. And if overtime is offered, or if you are asked to try something new within your job, you should when possible say yes to both, as it will show your boss how committed you are.
4. Take a course
If you’re looking to remain in your career and want to move up or sideways into a new position, taking a course could give you the opportunity to do so.
You will then have that qualification and extra knowledge to prove your credentials when you are applying for new roles. You don’t even have to give up work or spend a lot of your time training to get to where you want to be, as some courses, such as this online FNP program can be taken in your own time and at your own pace, at home.
When it comes to getting a promotion, you might consider a leadership training programme, for example, or if you need to build up certain practical skills, you might want to find the relevant courses to acquire them.
And if you’re looking for a career change, you should consider the career that appeals to you, and take the necessary courses to open the relevant doors for you.
5. Network with others
Sometimes, it’s not what you know but who you know!
So, think. To achieve your career goals, who could open doors for you?
By building connections with the people in the know, you will improve your chances. It might be somebody in a different department in your workplace, or it could be somebody working in a company you find desirable.
You might want to get along to conferences and other business events that relate to the industry you are working in/want to work in and talk to others.
And you should improve your online presence, particularly your LinkedIn profile, so that you can reach out to professional others on that site. By putting yourself on the radar of other people, you should get valuable advice to help you in your career, and you might be able to fast-track your way from point A to point B.
If you’re unhappy at work, don’t procrastinate. Consider our suggestions, speak to relevant others, and find a way to improve your position. Life is too short to be in a job you dislike, and remembering those 9,000 hours a year, surely it’s better to spend your time being happy.
Let us know what you think, and if you have any suggestions of your own, be sure to share them with us.
© New To HR