Amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, it might feel like there are few opportunities to advance your career. In reality, though, there could not be a better time to find ways to develop and learn new skills to help you climb the corporate ladder, increase your pay, or find a better job altogether.
Photo by Katerina Holmes
While there are fewer opportunities for career advancement in person, many organisations offer certifications, classes, and seminars online. With all the extra time spent at home, now is the perfect time to register in some classes and even consider earning a degree or additional certifications!
Earn a professional license in your field
Earning a professional license in your field is a great way to expand your knowledge base, improve your resume, and boost your career. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license is one such example for individuals who work in the accounting field. To earn a CPA license, accountants will need to pass the CPA exam, and since it is a comprehensive, difficult exam, you will likely want to enrol in a CPA prep course to help you pass the first time.
Attend workshops and seminars
While workshops and seminars might not give you a professional license or a degree, they can still improve a wide range of skills. Many young professionals consider taking seminars or workshops to help them improve their communication skills.
With so many people working from home, strong communication skills are more critical than ever. Communicating about important project details or deadlines can be complicated when working digitally, so taking a seminar to help you learn the best virtual communication practices could be a great way to advance your career.
Additionally, you can take college classes online to advance your career even if you are not seeking a degree. Even if you think you know everything there is to know on a subject, there is always something interesting to learn in a college class. Now that so many courses are online, it is easier and more affordable than ever to register for a class to give you advanced knowledge in your field.
Learn from your superiors
Who better to ask for advice about your career than your employers? Ask one of your managers that you work with frequently about your strengths and ways to improve. Follow their suggestions to find success in your workplace!
Many high-level executives and managers are even willing to take on apprentices who can learn directly under them. An apprenticeship can teach you the valuable skills you will need to take advantage of new opportunities in your career. You will be getting firsthand experience that can help make you an even better employee. An apprenticeship is also an excellent way to advance your career by securing yourself a path to an executive position in your company.
Expand your professional network
One tried and tested way to advance your career is to establish a network of influential, important people in your field that can help you find career opportunities, secure promotions, and learn new things about your career.
The internet is a great place to expand your network. Many professionals use social media to communicate ideas and establish connections. Reaching out can be as simple as hitting follow or sending a DM, so there is no reason not to take advantage of social media to build up your network.
Familiarise yourself with the necessary software
Knowing your way around the latest, most common office software is a great way to advance your career. If you know how to use programs like Excel, PowerPoint, or Google Drive, you will be a much more valuable employee or candidate for a new job.
If you are proficient with common office software, you will also be able to navigate through your work with ease, meaning that you will be able to get your work done better and faster.
Focus on creating an effective resumé
Part of advancing your career is having an effective resumé to use when applying for new jobs or looking for promotions within your company. Keeping your resumé up to date with your latest accomplishments is a great way to make yourself an attractive candidate to an employer.
When creating a resumé, you should tailor it to the job you would like to have. Please pay attention to the language an employer uses to describe a job and try to sell yourself as someone with all the skills they require. You should pick out specific words and phrases to repeat in your resumé to help yourself stand out from other applicants.
It is also essential to make your resumé about the results you can provide, rather than your skills. Employers do not want to read a long list of skills and qualifications that looks just like every other application on their desk. Instead, employers want to see applications that address their company’s problems and offer ways that you and your skillset can be the solution.
It would be best to make your resumé a little different for every job you are applying to. Do not just use the same resumé and cover letter every time you apply to a job — employers will notice that you have not customised your resumé to their needs and will be less likely to interview your or even read the rest of your application.
Even though there is a lot of chaos in the world because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has never been a better time to focus on advancing your career. Since nearly everybody is working from home to prevent the spread of the virus, there are plenty of opportunities to enrol in classes, attend virtual seminars or read about the latest trends and software in your field to help make you a better employee and candidate for new jobs.