Do you think you’re ready for a promotion but your boss does not?
Have you been turned down for a job for not having enough “industry experience” or not having a “career focus?”
Instead of hoping that your current or future job will define your career, stop and take a look at yourself.
Do you have a strong desire to work in your career field, or is your paycheck the best part of your job?
Do you have a genuine interest in your career field? How do you show it? In what ways do you gain new skills, keep up with industry news, or contribute to your professional community?
Here are five ways to invest in your own career and help you to advance. These activities will also help you to gains skills and knowledge to do your current job better.
1. Identify topics you want to know more about. Seek out projects that will help you learn about those topics (example: helping your department to use social media). The projects you choose should match company priorities, not just your own.
2. Become a subject matter expert (SME) in a particular area. Identify skills sets or areas of knowledge missing from your company or department and be the person to fill those gaps.
3. Read everything – news stories, reports, white papers, blogs – related to your areas of interest and your industry. When you find an interesting article or report, send it to your colleagues. Show your interest and knowledge in an area by sharing it with others.
4. Attend staff trainings and company-sponsored workshops. Take advantage of any classes, conference or online trainings the company offers. You will gain skills to do your job better, learn more about industry trends, and make connections with coworkers and supervisors in your company.
5. Don’t just join a professional association, be active in organizations, committees, and online and in-person groups relevant to your career. Be an active member of your local professional community.
When it comes to your career development, always be ready to learn new skills, share with and support your colleagues, and focus on your career identity. Be your authentic self at work and in life.
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