Use this time to reflect on your career journey

Elite CV's Lerato Mabiletsa offers tips on how to ensure your career continues to flourish.

With the current global epidemic, it might feel like it is the best time to take a break from thinking about climbing the career ladder. Actually, this is a great time to evaluate where you are, your plan for getting a promotion or getting ready for an upcoming transition to a new job. It may seem like the job market is slowing down and professional networking opportunities may be drying up a bit but, that’s not the case. There’s still a lot you can do if you’re actively job hunting or looking to build your network. We’ve got some ideas on how to improve your career prospects.

To improve your career, you need to act, there is no saviour that is magically going to give you your dream job on a silver platter and automatically instil self-discipline, hard work, and perseverance within you. You will have to do it all by yourself.

Here are some few tips to help you get started on your journey to success

1 Set clear and achievable goals

Career goal setting is an incredible skill to develop, it is a way in how you envisage, design, and desire your future to be. Historically, it is believed that a life best lived is a life that is well planned out, with proper dimension, purpose, and objectives, resulting in an absolutely tremendous outcome. Goal setting gives you the chance to experience the power of your imagination; how far you can think about your capabilities, how and what you can actually achieve in a set timeframe.

Think about it, your imagination is where all tangible and intangible values begin; for you to get that promotion or prestigious role you have been eyeing, you have to strategically plan on how to go about reaching that goal and this revolves around your goal setting technics. For you to be successful in your career, it is very crucial that you take full advantage of this powerful resource and use it wisely.

Dream big and make the attempts (don’t procrastinate), it is always great to evaluate the previous year to start working towards the next exceptional things in improving your career once the coast is clear.  Don’t be afraid to ambitiously apply for senior posts, set clear and achievable goals then develop a timeline including milestone and quarterly reviews.

2 Improve your personal and career branding

You can be qualified and without a job, experienced but overlooked during promotions, and simply because you don’t have a strong career brand, you don’t stand out but simply blend in. Your professional CV/résumé is a critical element to your career branding, in most cases, it is the first introduction about you and what you can offer to employers and hiring managers. It has been said that it takes less than two minutes to make an impression, this means that your document must stand out.

3 Learn constantly

Learning is not something that ends at school, it is a continuous exercise that will constantly improve your career. Technology is constantly changing the working environment and therefore presenting new roles and responsibilities in the marketplace. If you need to learn fast and become an early adopter, constantly look for solutions to improve productivity and the business and soon you will be heading your own projects or department.

This is the best time for you to take online courses in platforms such as YouTube, Udemy, and Skillshare. This can help with learning and acquiring new skills. Another key lesson I would like to share is learning how to build a positive mental attitude, this will help you to overcome difficult challenges, and will greatly reduce the stress in your life.

4 Connect

Humans are social beings, meaning the majority do not live in isolation, we constantly interact with each other. To grow your career you need to engage, interact and converse with the right people who can contribute towards your success and vice-versa. Professional platforms like LinkedIn can help you to build a strong career profile and engage with your industry peers and influencers. Learn to share insightful information on social platforms and soon you will be an influencer in your area of expertise. 

5 Evaluate yourself

At school we have tests and exams to evaluate how much we have learned and where we need to improve, this in business is done through KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). This year learn how to develop your own personal KPIs and don’t take it easy on yourself. If you want to achieve great results in life, you will have to do things other people are scared or not prepared to do. Growing up, most of us were told to fit in, to be like other kids well, if that is how you have been approaching your career and life then I fear you will get what the majority has.