In the past, if you were interested in having a successful career, you only had to do a couple of things — go to school, finish college, and get a job. And you would have that job for the rest of your life, provided that you wanted it.
Nowadays, however, the job market is more brutal than ever. The competition is fierce which means that companies get to have their pick of the candidates. They choose those willing to work for less despite having the most skills. Plus, job security is pretty much non-existent, since almost everyone is replaceable.
However, in order to build your career, you don’t need to undervalue yourself. There are plenty of other things you can do in order to get ahead of your competition and make yourself indispensable.
Here’s how to build your career:
1Write a Killer Resume
This one is crucial. Whether you are currently unemployed or looking to move to a different company, you have to know how to create an outstanding resume.
And it’s not just about writing one resume and sending it out to a bunch of different companies. There is no “one size fits all” resume. This means you should tweak it according to the company you are applying to. Some prefer a more formal tone while others prefer a visual or video resume.
There are two ways you can go about this. You can research the company you want to work for and see what they’re all about. Use that as a starting point for your resume. Another solution would be to hire a professional to write your resume for you.
2Adopt New Skills Constantly
Regardless of which industry you are in, learning new skills is not just desirable, but often necessary.
This goes double if you are working in a very dynamic field such as IT or digital marketing. Things change every year and you cannot afford to rest on your laurels even one bit. For instance, if you are a digital marketer, you will have to stay alert when it comes to new rules and SEO guidelines.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways in which you can acquire new skills, even those which are highly lucrative, such as coding. You can learn from free eBooks and YouTube videos and tutorials. You can take online courses or even find a mentor online.
In order to be informed about the most sought-after skills, read industry publications like the Wall Street Journal.
In order to have a truly successful career, your professional goals and desires need to be aligned. You can only do this by being aware of your limitations and creating realistic goals. It also means being confident enough in your skills and abilities.
Now, a lot of people set goals and imagine where they will be 5 or 10 years from now. The problem is that they don’t usually end up there and it’s usually because they get overwhelmed.
In order to avoid that, you need to start thinking smaller. Set goals which will get you there eventually.
For instance, if you want to become the CEO of the company you are working for in the next 5 years, think about what you need to do in the next 12 months to make that possible. Then, think about what you can do this month, week, and finally, what you need to start doing today.
4Networking is Essential
When it comes to getting that dream job, it is not just about what you know but also who you know. Some of the best career opportunities can be a result of you knowing somebody in your industry who is willing to recommend you to their boss.
Apart from networking in person, you should also create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. They are perfect if you are looking to expand your network of professional contacts.
In addition to opening yourself up to new opportunities, you can exchange experience, services, and skills. If you have helped someone along the way, they will be more likely to remember you down the line in case there is a job opening at their company.
See Also: The Art And The Science Of Networking
5Develop Your Brand
In order to present yourself and your skills in the best possible way, you need to think about marketing yourself, much like a company would. Developing your own personal brand can help you establish yourself as an authority or an expert in your field and businesses will start seeking you out more.
How do you go about developing your brand?
Well, you can start a blog where you can share valuable content and demonstrate your expertise. Also, you should create a personal website and craft compelling social media profiles.
As you can see, in order to build a successful career, it’s not enough to be an expert in your field. You have to let people know that. By branding yourself, developing a wide network of contacts, and constantly expanding your set of skills, you will be in a much better position to do so.