Editor’s note: Quorum is not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this article, and derives no benefit from these businesses for placement in this article.
Entering the job market fresh out of high school, vocational training, or college is an exciting time full of new possibilities. However, many workers find that the daily grind causes them to become complacent, and they lose the momentum and focus needed to develop long-term career potential. As businesses across the nation look to streamline and downsize to remain competitive, it’s important to keep your job skills marketable and your career moving forward in a positive direction.
Avoid stagnation in your career and locate exciting new employment opportunities when you remember the following four essential career tips and associated resources:
1. Invest time and energy in continuing your education and developing new technical skills.
Maintaining a lifelong focus on developing new skills is an essential part of growing in your career. In today’s technology-driven workplaces, for example, many businesses, regardless of sector, now rely heavily on employees who possess technical skills ranging from basic computer literacy to familiarity with database management, advanced programming fluency and beyond. Regardless of your career field, easily accessible online resources may help you enhance existing skills or develop the knowledge your employer needs to thrive in the current business climate. For instance, you could enhance your resume and maybe even land that next exciting career opportunity when you take advantage of resources to help you:
- Develop a knowledge of basic computer science concepts with Harvard University’s free video lectures.
- Access a wide range of online marketing courses from a variety of well-known universities through EdX.
- Learn graphic design skills through Alison, one of the world’s largest free learning platforms.
- Unlock a wide range of IT-focused courses including database management, mobile app development and more through Microsoft’s virtual training academy.
2. Take steps toward becoming a manager by seeking a mentor and developing your leadership skills.
Are you stuck in a rut at work and want an opportunity to prove your skills as a manager in your organization? One of the best ways to set yourself on a path to leadership in your industry is to seek out mentorship from senior leaders in your organization or career field. These individuals may have once stood in your shoes and are often willing to share stories and make recommendations for opportunities to move your career along in exciting new directions.
Additionally, effective mentors often provide the candid feedback you may need to help you grow both personally and professionally. Start by requesting a performance feedback session from your supervisor or your company’s leadership. Use this opportunity to express your desire to receive mentorship and more responsibility within the organization.
In addition to honing your skills from a mentor, take advantage of these online resources to help get you started down the path to management:
- Check out a variety of free podcasts on management and leadership principles through iTunes or Google Play.
- Discover free online courses for new managers and HR practitioners through providers including the American Management Association and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
3. Keep up with the latest developments and trends in your sector.
By staying up on the latest trends and best practices in your industry, you may place yourself in a unique position to enhance your value as an employee. One of the most effective ways to hone in on this information is through customizing your social media news feeds to push relevant articles, blogs and videos your way on a daily basis. Establish an account on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and then tailor your preferences to ensure fresh content related to your industry appears in your news feed each day.
Find an article you want to mark and read for later? Simply save it to your email, take a screenshot on your mobile device or use an app like Pocket to tuck it away for later viewing.
4. Network with peers in your industry from across the world.
Networking offers the opportunity to share your experiences, gain insight from peers, learn about new trends in your career and even unlock exciting new employment opportunities. LinkedIn’s professional networking services can help connect you to fellow employees in your sector across the globe. Additionally, Facebook offers pages tailored to specific industries and interests which can help you grow your network. Other avenues include attending conferences, trade shows or even finding networking opportunities within your local area via apps like MeetUp.
By taking advantage of some of the tips and resources above, you’ll be able to enhance your knowledge, grow your network, and, potentially, set yourself up for some exciting new career opportunities!