In today’s ever changing workforce, many people are trying to get ahead in their career as a means of job security. This is no easy feat, and can cost several hours of your personal life via late hours and lost weekends. While this can get you ahead, there are much easier solutions to this problem that won’t carry such a heavy cost. Below are 7 Simple Ways to Get Ahead in Your Career.
1) Network Network Network
You should always be networking- even when you are not looking for a new position. Contacts in your network can help you with new vendor contracts in your current role, provide mentorship, or help you with situations in your personal life. There are several different types of people you should be networking with regularly. We recommend having one networking meeting every week. This could be meeting someone for lunch, or attending a networking party. Here are some networking ideas: coworkers in your department, coworkers in different departments at your organization, professional associations, geographical networking clubs, even social events at a party thrown by friends or family. To be successful in these networking situations, make sure to prepare ahead of time.
2) Volunteer for the Projects that No One Likes
Is there a project in your company that no one likes? You should volunteer for it! It will show your commitment to your organization, and give you an opportunity to shine independently from your coworkers. It could also introduce you to colleagues in different departments, lines of business or levels to expand your work network.
3) Gain Horizontal Experience
Horizontal experience is work experience not necessarily related to your position. For example, if you are in sales, you should volunteer to help out with a project in the PR department. This will strengthen your network, diversify your skills, and help you get noticed by upper management.
4) Continuous Learning
Many companies offer tuition assistance, allowing employees to further their education. Take classes to get a higher degree! This looks great on your resume, and will show how serious you are about your future at the organization. If your company doesn’t offer this benefit, there are several ways in which you can still develop your knowledge of the field. Coursera offers free online classes from top Universities, and some classes provide certifications to add to your resume. Webinars are also readily available on the Internet for many different topics.
5) Join a Professional Association
Not only is this great for networking, it will keep you up to date on the happenings in your field. There are usually several of these associations in any given city. Check out the ones available to you on websites like Meetup and Eventbrite.
6) Become Active on Social Media Networks
Social media can elevate your career to the next level by sharing knowledge of a field, making connections, and sharing new opportunities. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites all provide outlets for becoming an “online professional”. To effectively do this, you should be sharing content and engaging with others regularly. We recommend a “Social Media Monday” routine. Every Monday, spend an hour giving recommendations on LinkedIn and developing content to share for the next week. The people you gave recommendations to that Monday will remember you in a positive light for brightening up the beginning of their week!
7) Take on Freelance or Consulting Work
This will expand your knowledge of the field, and can help provide you the experience you need for a promotion. For example, if you would like to be promoted to a sales management position at an organization, having experience managing a freelance sales promotion will likely help you earn said promotion. There are several websites were you can gain said work, including Elance, FlexJobs, and QuintCareers.