With unemployment rates at an all-time high you may be wondering what you can do to keep your job secure, advance your career, or even find a new job. Whatever your goals may be, there are always a few steps of action you can take right now to help you achieve the career of your dreams.
Photo by Lukas
1. Establish what you want
During quarantine, many of us had time to reflect on our lives, goals, dreams, and aspirations. Questions like, “Does my job fulfil me?,” “Is that what I really want to do with my life?,” or “Am I capable of doing other things?” were at the forefront of many stay-at-home workers, those on furlough and the unemployed. The first step to take in order to reach your career goals is to define what you actually want.
Do you really like to spend time in an office?
Would you rather have the freedom to make your own schedule?
Do you like to help people?
Does your current job (or your past job) make you wonder about these things?
If you already know the answer to these questions and you feel that you’re on the right track, career advancement may be your goal. However, if you’re looking for a brand new change, or if you want to start over again in a completely different industry to spark your interest, then landing a new job might be your goal.
Wherever you stand, it’s important to acknowledge that the work you do will affect your life. Remembering this will help you to make decisions about where to go next with your career.
2. Improve your skills to the best of your ability
No matter what industry you work in or what you do, there is always going to be room for you to improve. Humans never stop learning, and with all the down-time quarantine surprisingly presented, many people chose to take the time to hone their skills.
Tap into what makes you great at your job, or consider your interests and the things that make you happy. Dedicate some time and invest (if you have the means) to online courses that will further your skills and help you understand the industry you’re working towards in more detail.
If you’re working as an independent contractor, taking a course to renew your education may be an option. If you want to work in translation services, try to learn a new language. There are so many options you can choose from to improve the skill sets you already have – you just have to find the ones that will benefit you!
3. Network online
Thanks to the digital age, so many aspects of any workplace revolve around and are influenced by the internet. This next tip will apply to anyone – whether you’re currently employed or not – networking is key to helping you build connections with other like-minded people in your industry.
Take the time to browse the internet to establish connections with others. This can be done on career-focused websites like LinkedIn, but even on social platforms like Facebook or Instagram. If you take the time to seek them out, you’ll be able to connect with others who share the same goals and ideas that you have.
Many jobs in industries that aren’t technology-based have been affected by the use of computers and remote work but learning how to optimise the internet can still push you forward in your chosen career. There are so many resources you can utilise, and not only will you learn from the people you connect with but you also just might meet your future employer in the process.
4. Stay inspired.
Keep up to date with the latest advancements in your chosen field and look for online conferences, talks and lectures that cover topics that are relevant to your progression.
One of the great things about networking, especially online, is that you can quickly and easily connect with like-minded individuals. People love to share their success stories and while it’s fine to take inspiration from how they achieved their goals, avoid falling into the trap of comparing yourself to them or trying to follow their success story step by step.
Allow your admiration to push you to become better and achieve your goals in your own time, on your own terms.
As long as you are learning and putting in the effort to improve yourself, a future employer will eventually recognise how dedicated you are to personal development. Many times, both personal development and career advancement can go hand-in-hand. Keep this in mind during your job search, and you may just discover something else about yourself along the way!