What can you do to improve your career prospects in 2016

by Heather Dandridge  29-Jan-2016 at 09:12

What can you do to improve your career prospects in 2016?

As January draws to a close and we've settled into the New Year we're making our decisions to stick to our resolutions or leave them behind. However, the one thing we definitely shouldn't let slip are our professional goals.

What do you want to get out of your career in 2016? Promotion, a project, a secondment, a less demanding role, a more demanding role, a leadership position, a move to another type of organisation, a move to another country and culture.

While thinking about the next moves we might want to make, we reviewed author and life coach Marie Taylor's five tips to improve your career prospects and thought they are just as helpful today as they were when we first posted this blog. See what you think.

Know thyself and what you have to offer. When was the last time you revised that CV or really spent half an hour thinking through what you have delivered recently that you could talk about convincingly to a prospective employer? Make a list or write down those things you have achieved in the last 12-18 months that demonstrate recent achievement. Use this information to revise your CV or to have a conversation with your boss about that promotion or to make that call to a prospective employer or recruitment agency.

Get your address book out and check who the enablers are around you. Go through your address book/contacts lists and just think about who is in there that might be able to help you with your career goal. Who can help you by either providing you with information or with another contact? Who has resources that might help you with your thinking?

Pick the phone up and buy someone a coffee or lunch. If you know of someone who might be able to help you (eg someone who works in a role that you aspire to or works for an organisation you would like to work for) ask them for half an hour to an hour of their time and pick their brains. Be upfront about this. Tell them your intentions so that you both come prepared. Before the meeting, be really clear about what you would like to know from them, what you are asking of them and be prepared to do a good turn for them at some point.

Get yourself a good coach or mentor. A good coach or a mentor who works in your professional area can really help you focus on your career goals. A coach can help you; focus on those areas you wish to develop, provide a safe environment for you to explore the areas you find difficult, challenge you to exceed even your own expectations, provide practical support to develop your knowledge and skills, and more importantly enable you to focus specifically on you and your results/wants. A good mentor can help you with specific issues in your work and the way you work within your industry. They will be able to share their experience of dealing with particular issues and may be able to help you with making the right contacts to progress your career.

Become really clear on what you want. Many of us are really good at unconsciously recognizing what others want from us in career terms. But what do YOU want to create in career terms? Do you want to be a leader or a follower? A well-known figurehead in your broad professional arena? An expert in one specialist aspect of your field? A steady solid professional known for doing a great job? What? Get to know what you want and who you are in your career. You can only go for it if you are clear about what it is that you want. If you leave it to chance and opportunity, what you want may find you...or not.

So what are you waiting for? Getting planning your next move today!

 

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