In today’s highly competitive environment, stagnating pretty much equals death. For many of you, at least a couple of years have passed since you’ve launched your business and you spend all your time developing and managing it. So how would you answer these questions “How are your business and career advancement going?”, “Do you have the time to focus on your development?” Are you eager to take on a challenge and then move forward to an even greater one? Or do you prefer to just go through the motions and remain at a steady state?
So how can you continue to improve yourself while moving forward? It’s actually more simple than you think, but you need a plan.
It can be done by setting specific objectives and ensuring that you allocate enough time and resources so that you are able to progress in your career and reach a higher level. And while you owe that to yourself, your business will benefit from it as well. The more skills you possess, the smarter you are, the more high-profile contacts you have, the better off the company will be.
For example, you could start by setting aside 30 minutes once a week. Use that time to invest some effort and even some money to ensure that your career is going forward. Still, what should you do with those 30 minutes? Here are 5 great tips that can help you grow your own career.
1. Set a career objective
Most entrepreneurs have daily, weekly, monthly and even annual goals they’re trying to fulfill. Whether it’s more sales, ways of reaching more new customers or achieving this level of quality or output, every business owner will have its goals. Still, how many entrepreneurs set similar goals for their career advancement?
It’s pretty obvious that you cannot reach your destination if you don’t know what the destination actually is. Therefore, decide how you want your career to be different a year from now to what it is currently. After you do that, try and determine the steps you will need to take and some interim touchstones you will need to hit to be able to achieve those goals.
2. Remember to always ask for input.
Once you determine your goal, you should follow up by asking for help. You can do this by asking a trusted person for advice or feedback. Moreover, you could ask a mentor to help you with the process. Regardless of the case, you need to approach someone who knows you really good and also the ins and outs of your industry. This way that person can honestly tell you if the goals you want to achieve actually make sense.
Moreover, the person may also tell you if the goal you’ve set needs to be refined or if there is a better way of reaching the destination. Just make sure to pick someone who is extremely familiar with your industry so that the advice is trustworthy and accurate.
3. Make sure to give your resume and your online profiles a thorough makeover.
Remember the last time you actually reviewed your resume and your online profiles? In particular, your social media profiles sort of create the professional face you show the world, so if you haven’t updated them, it’s high time to offer them some careful attention.
Give a lot of thought to how you describe yourself. Begin your description with the things you do best and want to do more of. A lot of entrepreneurs find new costumers and business partners through their social media profiles. Find out how you can make the most of your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and what social media mistakes to avoid.
4. Make sure to connect with at least a couple of people in your network.
For example, you could make a plan to connect with some people within your network each month. Even though you aren’t looking for a new customer, sooner or later you will need some help, which your network connection can provide. You could consider your network as your vegetable garden. As any garden, it requires careful tending so that it remains a fruitful resource. Also, remember when you’re connecting with people to ask them what you can do to help them.
5. Craft your professional development.
The most successful way of growing your own career is to never stop learning. Moreover, you need to continuously add new skills and build up your knowledge base. Maybe you can get new certifications, learn a foreign language or become tech savvy.
Just remember that there are lots of learning opportunities outside your usual education and most entrepreneurs learn new things while doing their jobs. Are there projects you can undertake that will get you outside of your comfort zone? Always looking for learning opportunities is the best and safest way to keep your career on track for unlimited growth.