A couple of months ago, I talked about why you should invest in your career, since then I have had several people asking me, on top of what I said in the previous article, what is the best way to go about investing in your career.
Gain additional training. If your employer no longer offers additional training, look to professional organizations, community colleges, and tutors to invest in your career. Most Professional organizations will insist that you must do 20 hours of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) a year. This is all well and good, however if you need a certain skill or piece of knowledge to really get ahead in your career then my top tip is to seek out intensive training courses that specialize in the skill you are trying to learn. This way you learn the skills you need and perfect them when you finally succeed and get the role.
Earn additional certifications, degrees. This twins with the previous tip, as with training courses come accreditation. Make sure when searching for courses to improve your skillset that you choose the ones that provide you with recognized accreditation. This has the 3-fold advantage of 1 acting as proof that you have completed the course, 2 It looks great to employers as it shows you have taken the initiative when it comes to CPD and 3 it provides you with a boost in confidence because let’s face it’s always nice to see your name on a qualification.
Conduct career planning. This is the simplest, cheapest and usually the quickest way to invest in your career. By simply spending time evaluating your career and working out the best way to get from where you are now to where you want to be can be hugely advantageous. In just a few hours you can come up with a career plan showing where you want your career to head, and what strategy you will use to get there. This simple step can be a hugely effective tool for anyone who is career driven, and the fact that you can change and adapt it if circumstances change makes it an incredibly versatile and valuable tool for you to have at your disposal.
Build your brand. Branding is a huge part of planning your career, developing a series of online profiles that you can use as a showcase for your accomplishments, skills, and abilities is a great way to push your career forward. LinkedIn is a great tool for this, by making it clearly visible that you are a dedicated professional on this network especially only serves to boost your career prospects. In my experience people who do this are the type of employee’s managers and CEOs love. This display of drive and dedication to your own CPD ensures that you are taken seriously and helps achieve your career goals.
Build personal relationships. Most of us take our network of career contacts for granted, reactivating contact only when job-hunting. Instead, focus on regularly maintaining and building your network. This can be within your company, profession, and community as strong relationships will provide many benefits for you personally and professionally for example it may open up hidden opportunities. See my article on the hidden jobs market here for more information on how this can help.
So there we have it, those were my top methods for investing in your career. These have served me well in my career and I hope the work as well for you as they did for me.