So you’re just starting out in your career and you need to make sure you get off on the right foot. And if you lay the right groundwork, you absolutely will. In fact, there are a lot of things you can do right now that will pay off later on. Here’s how you can plant the seeds for a fruitful career.
6 Ways To Cultivate A Great Career
1. Grow your network
A solid, expanding network is absolutely crucial when it comes to launching your career. It’s great to have a community of people you can bounce ideas off of and tap for advice. Keep your network active. It might even pay off to maintain a spreadsheet with name, title, how you met them, contact info, when you last interacted, and any other notes or tidbits that might be useful later on. Add former classmates, people you meet at workshops and seminars, former colleagues and bosses and anyone else you encounter who’s of interest to you or relevant to your target industry. When you’re ready to start looking for a job, let your network know what you’re looking for.
2. Diversify your skills
Focus on learning as much as you can. Take online courses, listen to podcasts, read articles and books on topics you’re interested in and topics that might help you move forward in your career. Even you aren’t directly developing marketable skills that will help you out, you’re expanding your worldview so that you have more to talk about with people in your network and potential employers. The more knowledgeable you are, the better.
3. Make a long-term goal
Remember that your career is in your hands! It’s totally up to you to end up where you want to be in five, ten, twenty years. Figure out a long-term goal and design a plan around it to get yourself where you want to be. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step.
4. Find your passion
There’s no point in pursuing a career in an industry that you don’t enjoy, so find something that makes you happy, honors your strengths, shows off your personality, and challenges you in all the right ways. Consider taking a personality test or an aptitude test just to give you some more ideas and insights.
5. Take courses
Once you narrow down a field to pursue, start taking relevant courses to give you more employment options. If a potential employer finds out you just happen to be experienced in some skill that they know is lacking at their company, you’re going to have a leg up over other candidates.
6. Clean up your social media
You’ve heard it all before—clean up your social media so it doesn’t reflect anything bad about you. Take down those posts and photos that may impact someone hiring you, and make yourself seem responsible, professional, and employable. And have your profiles reflect your professional goals and qualifications.
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