When the new year rolls around, many of us often feel it’s time for a change.
And whether you’re looking to completely transform your career and find a new path, or simply advance in your current role or industry, development is the first step to success. Learning new skills and putting your best foot forward is the key to success.
With that in mind, these are five techniques that will build your skills and enable you to take the next step in your career.
1. Improve your CV
It’s basic, but it should be the first step to any job-hunting journey.
If you’re looking for a new position, chances are your CV hasn’t had a decent update since last time you were looking.
The best tip when applying for jobs is to adapt your CV to each role you apply for, making your skills and experience appear as relevant to the given job description as possible. And don’t forget your cover letter either – fewer candidates utilise them these days, which means that even just be having one, you’ve got an instant advantage. Your cover letter should be a single side of A4 that explains succinctly why an employer should choose you to fill their vacancy.
2. Boost your qualifications
Considering a change of career? You may need to learn some new skills to break into your chosen field. Starting from the beginning can be scary but it can also be extremely liberating.
And if you have a wealth of experience or beginner qualifications in an existing field, this can give you a major leg-up when it comes to studying: courses such as an online Audiology (top-up) BSc from ARU allow you to build on your existing qualification, attain a full degree and move your career up the ladder.
Whatever existing certificates you have, it’s worth looking at study options to see how you can advance this to a further level, as new qualifications show your future employer that you take initiative in furthering your own learning.
3. Set goals
You don’t have to have every step of your career journey mapped out meticulously, but it’s a good idea to know roughly where you want to be in, say, one year, or five.
In your current role, this may be an aim to improve your time management and increase efficiency by, say, reducing the time it takes to perform certain tasks. In the long-term, you might have a particular role (or salary) to aspire to by a certain point.
At any stage, it’s great to have something to aim for, and to know where your opportunities for development lie.
4. Explore networking opportunities
While most people hate networking events, they are a fantastic opportunity to get to know fellow professionals in your industry.
They also have the added benefit of helping you develop your confidence in social settings, as well as your ability to pitch yourself and your skills.
And in the 21st century, aspiring networkers have it easier than ever before thanks to sites like LinkedIn, which allow you to connect digitally and even find roles and recruiters.
5. Find a mentor
Depending on your industry, you may be able to access mentorship schemes which will allow you to benefit from a mentor with experience in your role.
A shining example of this is the CIPD’s mentorship programme for professionals in Human Resources. Their Steps Ahead programme targets 18–24-year-olds just starting out in their careers, whilst their member-to-member mentoring aids mentees at any stage of their journey.
Make 2022 your year with these five fantastic opportunities for career development.
Got any career-boosting tips for ambitious professionals? Share them with us in the comments below.