Not everyone minds being in a state of career stagnation. Some value the stability and comfort of remaining in the same job and with the same company long term. This post is not for them. However, this post is for people who want to pursue new and challenging opportunities and people who hope to grow in their careers. It’s for you if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to make yourself promotable.
If you feel your career is stagnating, try one of these six ideas to open up opportunities for the upcoming year!
1. Set up a side business
It doesn’t need to be related to your job and it can be something you fit around other commitments. A side business will give you a great overview of what it takes to be commercially successful: from setting it up to marketing and selling your products or services, you’ll be learning a whole new range of useful business skills.
If your current job is uninspiring or unlikely to move you closer to your goals, entrepreneurial activities can help ramp up your CV and LinkedIn profile, or prove you have relevant skills and experience necessary for a career change.
2. Learn something
Expand your talents and knowledge by signing up for a Mooc (massive open online course). From branding and management to film-making or forensic psychology, there’s a huge range of free courses available to everyone, often run in conjunction with leading universities and institutions. Many last for a few weeks, with regular activities and assignments, as well as opportunities to interact with other course participants. “Statements of participation” are sometimes available – useful if you need proof of professional development.
Some main providers of Moocs are Coursera, EdX and tech-oriented Udacity, while FutureLearn is owned by the Open University. There’s even a six-week Mooc offered by the University of London Careers Group which helps you improve your career management and employability skills.
3. Make a plan
This year resolve to be proactive about managing your career. Decide on what you want to achieve, whether this involves a promotion, a lateral move, or a complete change of direction. List the different steps you’ll need to take and identify any possible obstacles.
Also involve your line manager in your career ambitions if you enjoy a good relationship. Perhaps you can be assigned career-stretching projects or work with different teams. Look for areas where you can make a greater impact in the organisation, and sell the business case for working on these to your manager. Consider your organisation’s “white space” areas. These are defined as problems that other people in the organisation are either unaware of or don’t want to tackle.
But if you’re feeling trapped in a job which is going nowhere or which feels stifling, think about alternative working arrangements and start developing a free-agent mindset, putting your overall career over any particular job.
4. Get a coach or a mentor
Career development doesn’t have to be a lonely slog. Both coaches and mentors can be the support and accountability partners you need to make significant changes in your working life. As neutral observers, coaches can both challenge you and serve as a sounding board. Career coaching is particularly useful if you’re facing redundancy or if you realize that your job is not a good fit.
Mentors can also help you in your career development, as you can learn from someone else’s experience and access a different network. Look for mentoring schemes within your organisation or in your industry.
5. Meet more people
Networking is one of the most productive ways to find and nurture important contacts and to hear about job opportunities. It isn’t just a question of attending a formal networking event, but more of getting out to meet people in your industry (or target industry) at events like conferences and fairs. Ask about companies’ products and services rather than about available jobs and keep in touch after the event.
Volunteering is another way to meet people you wouldn’t normally, as well as to learn skills or gain experience, which can then go on your CV. Do-it.org allows you to search for volunteering opportunities by area of interest and by town or postcode.
6. Get published
Write a book or a blog to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It’s never been easier to set up a blog using WordPress, or to write a book and self-publish it. It’s also a good way to increase your professional visibility and industry reputation, making it more likely that you’ll attract the attention of people looking for your specific area of expertise.
And you, what will you do to advance your skills, achieve your personal and professional goals in 2020?
Source: The Guardian
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