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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Guaranteed Ways To Improve Your Career Prospects

We've all been there.

The alarm clock starts ringing, we wake feeling less than enthused about another day at work, and as we start to eat our cornflakes, we try to shake off those negative thoughts that come from a job we don't particularly enjoy.

We then go to work, endure the trials and tribulations that so often hinder any chances of falling into a good mood, and then go home again, wishing that we didn't have to suffer the same routine in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Are you relating to what we are saying?

So many of us hate our jobs for one reason or another, and so many of us long for something better. And if this is you, now might be the time to consider what you might need to do to make your life a better one. Now might be the time to do those things that will improve your career prospects, whether that's getting a promotion at work or moving into another job role or career type.

Here are some tips we hope you find useful.

#1: Take a course
If there is a qualification you need to attain to get a promotion or to move into a new career, then go for it. Whether it's going back to college or sitting at home taking an online course, you will then have the credentials you need to impress your current or future employer. It might be a full-blown academic program, a day-course to improve something you are weak in, or something to beef up your resume. Whatever it is, your life will be improved if you take the courses that are relevant to you, so even though it might mean extra work for you, think about the benefits that will be afforded to you upon completion.

#2: Work on your online portfolio
If you already have an online portfolio, then great. Work on improving it, perhaps by uploading elements of your work to show off to future employers, and by adding testimonial quotes from others about your work. If your website has expired, perhaps because you have been too busy to maintain it, use a renewal coupon if your web host allows it, or use your back up files to get something else up and running online. And if you haven't even started your online portfolio yet, check out these excellent examples, and research the web hosts that will allow you to showcase your work online.

#3: Impress your boss

Your employer is never going to consider you for a promotion or give you a good reference if your performance at work is less than decent. You need to be the best that you can be, even if you're hating every minute of your job and dreaming of a better life. So, turn up on time each day and work as hard as you can. Take on new responsibilities if offered them, as not only will you win your employer over if you do, but you will benefit from the experience too. And behave yourself! This means no gossiping with your colleagues, no slacking off when you should be working, and no leaving work early with an excuse that is less than honest. The more you can do to impress your boss, the better, as they should then give you that leg up you need when you're trying to move on with your career.

#4: Talk to HR
If you have a human resources team at your workplace, talk to them. Especially if you're looking to stay with your employer with a hoped-for promotion, they should be more than willing to help you with your goal. Ask them about the courses they think you should take, and find out more about the career ladder that is available to you. And if there is something you should be doing but currently aren't, they might be able to point you in the right direction to improve your career chances.

#5: Talk to your boss
Your boss should have an idea of the courses you might need to take too, so arrange to sit down with them to discuss your chances of promotion. And it might be that your boss needs reminding that you want to move on up the career ladder, so by bringing your goals to their attention, they might consider you the next time a promotion is available. Of course, this is assuming that you want to stay in your place of employment. If not, a conversation with your boss about the things that are getting you down might result in a positive change to your working life, and this will make coming to work more bearable each day while you're in the process of considering the next stage on your career journey.

#6: Network with others
Do you know somebody who has earned a promotion in your workplace? Talk to them and find out what they did to get to their position. Do you know somebody working in a career that you are considering for yourself? Ask them what they did to get there, and learn more about the qualifications that you might need to attain. And going beyond people you know, network with other people who might be able to help you on your career journey. Look for industry people on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other types of social media, and reach out to them. Attend those conferences and other business meetings that offer scope for meeting the right people. And visit other employers, as while they may have no jobs available immediately, you will still have made that connection with them that could prove fruitful later.

#7: Clean up your social networking sites

We mean this in two ways.

First, get the most out of your social media to prove your worth to your current or future employers. Your networking sites can act as online portfolios, so add and upload what you can to prove your worth to others. Check out these Facebook tips for some useful ideas. With the right details, photos, and personal posts, you might do much to improve your chances when an employer researches you online.

Secondly, take down anything that could work against you, such as those photos you uploaded from the wild parties you attended. Or alter your privacy settings, as this way, your personal life will be kept hidden from the people who are looking to promote or hire you.

#8: Take on a side gig
There is no harm taking on extra work, provided your current job contract has no clause within this regard, and you have the time to take on more work within your week. By taking on freelance or contract work, you will get the opportunity to build up your resume, boost your skills, and perhaps make inroads into the type of career that you are looking to move into. Oh, and you will make more money too, and assuming you aren't burning yourself out with the extra work you are taking on, that can only be a good thing.

#9: Take on voluntary work
As above, only this time you won't get paid for it! Still, you will learn new skills and get valuable experience, and you will showcase a positive work ethic to your current or future employers. And if your everyday job sucks, you will also have the opportunity to do something you might enjoy, and that will make your week a little bit more bearable.

#10: Stop procrastinating
Okay, so you have read our suggestions, and hopefully considered them reasonable. We have recommended all kinds of things, from speaking to the people who could help you to taking on voluntary work, educational courses, and side gigs. These are all good ideas (we're not bragging), but they need to become your reality. You don't have to follow every one of them, but for those suggestions that could make a difference to your career, you should make a plan to incorporate them into your life.

So, don't put them off until another time. Don't tell yourself that you will focus on them next week or next year. Make a five-year career plan, and alongside our ideas, brainstorm what you might need to do to achieve your career goals. What do you need to do to get to where you need to be? When would be a good time to leave your current job? Who are the people you need to speak to? And how much money will you need in your bank account if you're planning on starting at the bottom of a new career ladder or if you need to pay for certain qualifications? By asking these questions and making a plan to match them, you will have an idea of what you need to do and when, and that will ensure you don't procrastinate and stay within your current position forever.

So, what are you waiting for? If our ideas were useful to you, keep them in mind, and let them be the catalyst for improving your career prospects. We wish you success, in whatever you decide to do.
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