10 tips for a new career
The beginning of a new year is always a great time to take stock and reflect on your goals for the year ahead. With that in mind, Barry Whelan of Excel Recruitment serves up 10 tips to help you make the most of your career in 2019
18 January 2019
January is a great time to assess your career and take steps to accentuate it. With an economy full of opportunity, why not focus the next few months on making 2019 your most successful career year ever?
- Boost your essential job skills
There is probably a reason you were recruited to your current position; perhaps it is your management skills or selling ability. No matter what is the case, make an effort to ramp up the skills that make you good at what you do. You can take courses, attend seminars, or pursue a professional qualification to advance your existing talents.
- Volunteer more often
Stepping up in your job really does set you apart from the pack. If you have shied away from volunteering in the past, make the coming year one in which you offer to take on more responsibility. It’s a great way to expand your horizons and send management the message that you are not afraid to offer to help and try new things.
- Develop a skill that no one else at your company has
Why not make yourself a key player within your company? This will set the stage for a promotion – or at least give you job security. You may not be the only person at your company who is a good merchandiser or strong negotiator. However, if you work on developing a skill that no one else at your company seems to have, you will make yourself indispensable.
- Get more feedback
Feedback can be tough; you don’t only get to hear the positive, but obviously also the negative. Nevertheless, it is hard to assess your own performance when you are deep in deadlines and tasks. If you want to take your career to an exciting new level in the coming year, you need to make a point of pursuing ongoing feedback from both your manager and peers. Figure out where you are excelling and where there is clear room for improvement. The more insight you get from those around you, the better positioned you will be to take action.
- Take criticism graciously
While on the note of feedback, it is also not easy to be on the receiving end of criticism, even if it is constructive and helpful. Accepting that criticism courteously is a good way to set yourself apart from colleagues who are known to get defensive or ignore the feedback. Most of us are not perfect employees, but if you learn from your shortcomings and improve upon them tremendously, you’ll get close.
- Work on your soft skills
Boosting your job-specific skills is important, but don’t forget about those general skills that apply to any given role, such as time management and organistion. The more you improve your soft skills, the more valuable an employee you will be, so think about the areas you are lacking in and try to do better.
- Be a team player
Don’t underestimate the importance of being a strong team player. If you jump in when your colleagues need help or agree to collaborate on a project you would rather be running solo, you will show your manager that you’re agreeable and adaptable. These are qualities that could land you a step up the ladder.
- Embrace risks
If you don’t take some risks, you’ll miss out on key opportunities to wow your boss and add real value to your company. Don’t stay quiet when a great idea comes to mind, and don’t hesitate to dive into a new project or initiative you feel will be a game-changer. Even if you don’t end up succeeding, there is a good chance your company will acknowledge your effort and courage.
The people you know can be just as helpful, if not more so, than the things you know, when it comes to furthering your career. That is why it is always a good idea to expand your network. You can do so by attending conferences and industry events or asking your existing contacts for introductions. But don’t just network outside your company; get to know people from different departments and teams internally as well.
- And…Don’t forget the mistakes of the past
Maybe you messed up a major project last year or tanked in a presentation you worked hard on. Rather than carry the burden of those mistakes with you into the new year, take some time to assess what went wrong and map out a plan to avoid a repeat during your next opportunity. Learning from previous mistakes without letting them hold you back not only shows tremendous growth, but courage as well.