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Taking Charge Of Your Career - The Steps To Work Harder And Smarter

So you nailed your job interview, you’ve made friends with your coworkers—maybe even your boss—and you’re finally getting used to the workflow around the office. You might have even become comfortable enough and the thrill of learning is slowly fading. The routine is setting in, and at this point, you might be thinking to yourself that you need a change. Alternatively, you might be looking for ways to help push you out of your comfort zone in order to add more skills to your list while at a job you enjoy.

An important factor to keep in mind is that work life is very different today than it was a decade ago. There has always been the rule that once you start at a company, you’ll be making your way up the ladder. These days, however, that ladder seems to have diminished—or each role has become less distinguishable within each workplace. Putting yourself out there has never been as important as it is today. If you want your work to be noticed, you have to make yourself noticeable by breaking that monotonous daily routine.

Sometimes, the best way to approach a work slump is to think about how you can work to better your professional self with the options you already have at hand. If that’s limited, you’ll need to get a little creative with your work ethic techniques. Today, we’ve done that part for you by narrowing down useful tips and tricks that will help you achieve advancements in your career in the long term. These are the steps you can take to ensure you’re taking charge of your career the smart way.

Have Your Resumé Ready To Go

This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people get comfortable in their job and end up neglecting their CV. It’s important to do this so you’re always ready to take on new positions and challenges should the opportunity come up. We also recommend keeping it up to date so you’re constantly thinking about new skills you’re learning, skills you’d still like to learn, and of course your ultimate career goals. If you can identify the skills your resumé is missing, then you can work on achieving them.

Check Out Job Postings You'd Be Interested In

This is not necessarily a tip for someone who is looking for a new job—it’s essential to keep up with new job postings even if you enjoy your current job. Every work industry is currently undergoing changes faster than we can even read this sentence out loud. If you want to take charge, you should constantly look out for new skills you could be learning so you’re always ahead. Every company will catch up to new trends eventually, and instead of watching as your boss searches for a new hire, you can showcase your newly acquired skills and take on some fun new responsibilities that will ultimately advance your career. Plus, a great opportunity might come up in the future that you might wish you were qualified for.

Network, Network, Network

If you love it or it scares you, every professional should be networking no matter what. Putting your name out there can open up opportunities for you in places you would never expect. Plus, it’s great getting to know people and learning from their experiences. More knowledge is something you should strive to achieve in any career, and for the rest of your life! It can only better you, and will definitely work in your favour if done correctly. Keep in mind that while networking can help build relationships and lead to jobs, it’s important to approach other professionals with something you can offer in return. Whether it’s a genuine relationship that requires you to reach out often, or perhaps offering your expertise or business, this small detail will let them know that you’re serious.

Know What You Want And Ask For It

A great career won’t just happen overnight. Well, some people can get extremely lucky, but in real life you definitely cannot rely on that. 9/10 times you will find that successful people work very hard for what they want and don’t get to where they are by accident. Be smart about the moves you make every day, from the projects you work on to the relationships you cultivate with coworkers and other professionals. More importantly, do your research and have a career plan. Focus on the things that are important to you. That means you should tackle opportunities that will benefit your long-term plan, instead of saying “yes” to everything that might slow you down.

Don’t expect everything to be offered to you, either. If you see or hear about something you want, or if you simply would like to learn new skills in a different opportunity, it’s up to you to ask for it.

Find Mentors To Look Up To

Most people know how they’d like to balance their work life. For example, your goal could be to become a district manager while still having time for your family outside of work. Or you would like to have a job that allows you to travel all over the world. No matter what you have in mind, find mentors who live the life you ultimately want and research their career evolution.

You may even go as far as sending them an e-mail showing genuine interest in their expertise. A coffee date with a mentor is not something that is totally unheard of! If you manage to express sincere intent about your career goals and their achievements, you might be able to get insight from your mentors straight out of their mouth.

Take Risks And Don't Settle

If you feel you’re lacking opportunity for growth and development, don’t just roll with that. Taking charge of your career means you should actually try to reach for more instead of settling for the position you’re in. At some point, almost everyone will be faced with a career dilemma that makes decision-making a little difficult. If it means taking a risk, you might need to seriously weigh out your options before making the next move. Sometimes if it’s a risk that makes you nervous or anxious, it could be the best move of your career. At the end of the day, make sure you’re happy with the balance you’ve created between work and personal life and don’t allow any job to hinder success and well-being. Ask yourself: Am I happy? If not, is there anything I can do to change that? The answer is almost always a “yes.”

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