Throughout our education we’re asked to make choices, to choose subjects, specialisms, to work out which skills we want to develop and to decide how we want to spend our 9-5.
Cast your mind back; working out Pythagoras’ theorem (why couldn’t he work it out himself?!), dissecting a pig’s heart in biology or up to your eyeballs in flour and egg in food technology; what did you want to be when you were older? What was your dream job? For some people, they know exactly how they want to spend their working lives. We’re all driven by varying factors: six figure salaries, power and authority, all expenses paid holidays, even the chance to make meaningful change. Some people know what makes them tick; they get their head down, focus and hustle to get to their destination. For others, the creatives, the eclectics, the undecided… and those with a variety of changing and evolving interests, we do a bit more exploration and soul-searching until we decide which career path we want to embark on.
Whichever route you take, however old you are, however many no’s you hear, these pointers are universal across all industries and will help you to start and continue to evolve your career:
If you want to impart knowledge, if you want to cure chronic pain, if you want to create the next go-to dating app, keep focused, don’t let the nay-sayers and doubts of family and friends cloud your judgement.
Continual professional development: online and face-to-face courses and webinars all introduce you to new knowledge and keep your motivation levels high. All these sources will help you to absorb new facts and theories. Take a look at sites such as OU, Reed and Groupon– they offer a range of free and paid-for courses. Because knowledge is power, right?
Write down your goals- break them down…then break them down again
You have a long-term vision for where you want to be, what job title you want to see on that business card and what salary you want to see highlighted on your banking statement each month. You have an idea of the steps you need to take to get there. Great, done? No.
Next step- setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals. Breaking down your goals into short-term, small, manageable, action-orientated tasks will help you get closer to achieving that big goal. You’re more likely to feel that you are making progress, which in turn boosts your motivation.
Play to your skills
If negotiating sales deals with FTSE 500 nationals gives you a business buzz or sharing your make-up and hair tips and demonstrations is making you a YouTube icon, embrace it! Think about what you enjoy doing, tap into your hobbies and strengths, and focus on roles where you can build and develop these.
Keep up with industry trends
Bookmark industry websites, subscribe to industry publications and download apps featuring the latest trends. Staying up-to-date with the latest happenings in your industry will demonstrate your interest and prove you’re bang on trend to prospective employers.
Want more tips to help you develop your career? Read Part 2 >