13 things you can do for your career
At empire group, we have helped thousands of people start and progress their careers. As recruiters, we have unique insight into the legal and technology industries, meaning we know how candidates can get ahead in their careers. Here are 13 things you can do to help further your career this year:
1. Get feedback
Improvement can only happen if you know what you need to improve on. Your supervisors are not the only people you can get feedback from. Asking your peers and colleagues how you can develop in your role can you give an idea about how you can become a better performer. It also offers insight into the expectations others have of you.
2. Update your resume
Even if you are not actively pursuing new work, sitting down and updating your resume can be a helpful way to consider your current experience, and give you an idea of what you still want to accomplish in your role. If you update your resume online (like on Seek or LinkedIn), you also make yourself more visible to recruiters and hiring managers who are headhunting for new roles.
3. Look to your peers
What are the people around you doing? What have the people at the same level accomplished? Comparing yourself doesn’t always feel good, but by looking at the people in similar roles you can better gauge where you are realistically at on the career ladder. If they are completing tasks you cannot do yet, it might be time to ask for more opportunity and responsibility.
4. Build internal relationships
Your co-workers are the quickest and easiest ways to build industry contacts. Whilst you may not work at the same place forever, the relationships you create in a workplace can continue for years to come. As they say, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’.
5. Learn the industry
No matter where you work, your industry will always be changing. From technology, to human resources, to the law, there are dozens of factors that influence the development of a business. Continually researching and learning about your industry will help you have an edge on the people you are up against. Try subscribing to mailing lists or routinely visiting hashtags relevant to your industry, to ensure you are always being updated on changes that may impact your workplace.
6. Keep track of accomplishments
Your resume and job interview are the most important parts of gaining new work. You want both to demonstrate to a new employer the best you can be. To make this process smoother, you should keep a list of your accomplishments in your roles. Not only will this help you in this job seeking process, but also remind you of the successes you have had in your career so far!
7. Reflect – strengths + weaknesses
Whilst external feedback is helpful, sitting down and self-reflecting on what your strengths and weaknesses are can help you improve considerably. Introspection is an important skill to have, and being able to demonstrate this to employers, makes you someone that doesn’t need to be micromanaged, and someone who is always improving.
When was the last time you undertook some training? Whether through your employer or externally, regularly engaging in new training processes not only makes you a more educated employee, but one more valuable to your business. As you do new training, you develop your thinking processes and your skills. If you haven’t had any training in the past two years, it is worth talking with your manager to see how they can help you grow. If they can’t- it may be time to look elsewhere.
9. Talk to a recruiter
Who better to give you an insight into how you can grow your career than by talking to someone who engages with career development in your industry every day? A recruiter can help you gauge a realistic view of your career and inform you on the steps you should take to grow. They can also give you access to a whole network of opportunities you mightn’t otherwise be privy to.
Most industries have events designed to create networking opportunities. By attending these events you are not only kept up to date with the changes in your industry, but also get to touch base with people you mightn’t have otherwise known. The nature of social media has made networking even easier, as you can reach out to new contacts online.
11. Make a career plan
How can you grow if you don’t know what direction you are heading in? Sitting down and making a career plan can offer you guidance into your next steps. It prevents you from becoming complacent by always giving you something to work towards.
12. Ask for clarity
As you progress through your career a lot of work becomes instinctual, especially as you gain more autonomy. Whilst this is a fantastic learning experience, it is always helpful to sit down with your superiors (or clients) to clarify what they want from you in this job. Not only is clarifying an important skill to have, but it will also save you time and effort in the long run that can be better spent on other things. Clarity also helps you understand what you can get out of a task, ensuring you can tick off some boxes in your career plan. If you have clarity and can see that your role is not benefitting you, it may make it easier to leave.
13. Get a mentor
Whilst all these tips are helpful in growing your career, no one knows better how to do it than someone who has already done it. Try and reach out to someone ahead of you in their career and ask if they will be your mentor. The mentor/mentee relationship creates a safe space where you can talk about your career and ask questions without fear of judgement. If you don’t feel comfortable asking someone in your workplace, reaching out to someone in the industry externally is also valuable. People ahead in their careers want to network too, so by connecting you are also helping them build their circle of professionals.
If you want more guidance on how you can build your career, reach out to empire group today and we can put you in contact with one of our expert recruiters: empiregroup.com.au or call 07 3231 1200.