So now that spring seems to have FINALLY sprung (along with the onset of my crazy allergies), it’s an excellent time to spring clean a variety of areas of your life. And since spring is all about new beginnings and a fresh start, what better way to use all that post-winter-energy than to spring your career forward.
These tips come from The Muse, which is a FABULOUS career website that offers everything from job hunting (and how to stand out) to long-term career advice, including webinars, checklists and more. There is even a Job Bank that has a variety of interesting jobs posted that aren’t your “mainstream” type of work. I know this must sound like some sort of promo post for them, but it’s not. I just love the website that much that I wanted to share it’s greatness with ya’ll!
These tips below are pulled from a recent post of their all-time favorite ideas. My comments (because, obviously, I couldn’t do this without including some of my own color commentary) are in green beside it.
Start building a career advisory board—a go-to group of people you can call upon for advice when you’re facing a major decision or tough situation at work. We like to think of it as your career’s secret weapon. // I haven’t developed anything like this yet, but it is definitely something I want to work on! While I do think it’s important to make your own decisions, you also don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel every time if you can get advice from someone who has been there.
Start getting comfortable with pressure. In fact, go out of your way to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. When you do this often enough, you’ll be more immune to pressure when you are stress-tested—like in an impromptu meeting with the CEO. // I think I accomplished that with law school and having to work in the courtroom. There’s little more high pressure than when the judge is looking to you for a quick answer and you have to know your facts and case law to defend your position. Those kinds of experiences though prepared me for my current job – when something goes wrong with planning a big event now, I can calmly review my options instead of panicking. Panicking gets you nowhere!
One of the best ways we’ve found to make sure you’re constantly improving? Put a note on your calendar to ask yourself these 15 questions every Friday. // Those 15 questions allow you to evaluate where you are, how things are going and what is working for you in your career and job. Personally though, I think on Friday the best think you can do is make a to do list for Monday. If you are like me, when you get in on Monday, your brain is functioning at half mast – it can seem daunting to launch into all you have to tackle. With having a to do list already prepared (with some of the easier items at the top) this can allow you to dread Monday less and ease back into the work week, while still getting things done.
Find a new volunteer opportunity—sitting on a board or lending your skills pro bono can be an awesome way to boost your resume quickly. // I second this tip wholeheartedly! Partly because I love giving back and partly because you never know where it can lead you. Volunteer will make you feel better by knowing you’re giving back, it helps the group or organization you are working with, it gives you more to talk about in your interview than just work experiences, and you may meet someone while doing the volunteer work that can help boost your career! It’s a win all around.
Be as helpful as you possibly can be at work—even when it’s not your job. We promise: You’ll be shocked at the career-building results. // I can personally vouch for this piece of advice. If I had merely worked on the minimal tasks that I was hired to do for the non-profit I work for, I never would have received the raise I got or been able to grow and progress the way I have. I wouldn’t make a big deal of it at the time, but I was always trying to go above and beyond in areas I saw that needed help. Any tips or tricks I could find, or cost saving mechanisms I could implement, I made sure I followed up on them. I tried to streamline processes that were being performed in an outdated way, simply because no one had ever taken the time to update them. While this did often mean doing lots of extra work, it has been more than worth it in the long run in terms of taking my career to the next level. And don’t be afraid to point out these helpful changes you make when you ask for a raise!
Do you agree or disagree with these tips?
Do you have your own tips that work wonders?
Let me know in the comments!
And be sure to check back next week for more tips on taking your career to the next level