In a recent article, we discussed some ways to improve your career opportunities without switching jobs. Research has shown that job satisfaction leads to overall life contentment. Are you happy with your current situation and future prospects, or are you feeling stagnated? If you’re stuck in a stalemate or frustrated by obstacles, take a few moments to review some of our tips for career development.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of setting career goals. Creating a goal map will allow you to see, plan and, most importantly, execute the necessary steps to build a rewarding career. Whether you’ve got your sights on a CEO position or a successful entrepreneur, a goal map will help you develop a strategy to attain the right skills, training, and confidence.
If you’ve already planned out your goal map, it’s time to take the next step and actualize it. Sign up for extra training, or enroll in a few classes toward your next degree. Self-improvement can go a long way towards securing that corner office or successful venture.
Many people in the infancy of their careers believe that if they spend as much time as possible at work, someone will notice and opportunities will appear. This isn’t necessarily the case: burning yourself out won’t get you to the top any faster. It’s important to set priorities, work resourcefully, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
If you haven’t already, take some time every morning to assign a priority order to the tasks you need to complete that day. Pay attention to deadlines, note which tasks may take more energy or time, and plan accordingly. This will help you work more efficiently, make the best use of your resources, and finish tasks on schedule. Don’t forget to allow for rest periods and breaks to ensure mental focus and clarity.
If you took this tip seriously from our last article, then you’ve already started to build and expand your career network. You may have found that your relationships are improving and your resources are growing. Have you chosen a mentor that you admire? Continue to build on that relationship, seek out their advice, and explore opportunities for professional development. Don’t let this important relationship stagnate—meet with your mentor on a regular basis to discuss career growth or even just to catch up.
In our last article, we challenged you to step outside of your comfort zone. If you’ve begun to take initiative and push yourself, you may have noticed that your higher-ups are trusting you with more responsibility and taking you more seriously. Don’t get complacent: continue to speak up if you see where changes can be made or a situation can be improved.
Taking on extra projects and responsibilities will show your boss that you’re ready for bigger and better things. Take this time to review your performance and pinpoint areas where you might improve.
No one wants to be around someone who mopes all the time, and seems to resent his job. The sad-sack employee usually seems like he has somewhere better to be, so employers are less likely to think of him as promotion-worthy. Have you improved your attitude and maintained an air of positivity? If so, you may be finding that an upbeat attitude goes a long way toward making work more enjoyable: people are more willing to work with you or take your contributions on board. Not only that, but you are seen as someone with an upbeat, can-do attitude, which comes into play when promotion time rolls around.
Continue to keep these tips in mind during 2014, and make this the year that you meet your goal of a more rewarding, enjoyable career.