Many of my clients over the years have made big leaps up the ladder to better positions, exciting challenges and more money. How did they do it? Of course every case is different, but if you are looking to advance your career in the upcoming year, here are some things you can put into place right now:
Keep track of your accomplishments.
This is something I think all of us should be doing regardless. Avoid the mistake of thinking that someone is always looking over your shoulder tracking all of your career related accomplishments – or worse – that you shouldn’t because your job is “just what you do.” Take full responsibility for tracking your accomplishments and stepping back to view your value to your company as a whole. In other words, don’t just note the accomplishment, but the result it helped your company to achieve in $ and/or %.
Make a 30-minute meeting with yourself every 60 to 90 days to track your goals and write down your accomplishments. 30 days before your annual performance review, you can share your “progress report” with them. Many of my clients have stated that this type of initiative landed them a bigger raise.
Invest in yourself.
Whether your company pays or you foot the bill yourself, obtaining certifications, involving yourself in prestigious associations, or committing to coursework to obtain an advanced degree, are all endeavors that can have big returns for you! By perhaps pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, your industry or business expertise is expanded, and you will be keeping yourself fresh and relevant by learning something new. Those you work with will be motivated by your leadership and initiative.
Update your offline presence.
A highly polished and crisply delivered message sets the peg at a much higher level for your initial conversations, continues forward from that very professional initial contact, and gives you a competitive edge. This is why you will often hear that top resume writers help their clients land much better positions with significantly more money.
To find a good professional resume writer, I have always advocated that job seekers go to Career Directors International and look for qualified writers with advanced resume writing certifications. CDI’s Certifications are notoriously difficult to get, and that’s a good thing for you. In a largely unregulated industry, it’s an insurance policy that you are getting someone who can actually help you. This is why paying for top writers is generally a very wise idea. You truly get what you pay for in this instance.
Update your online presence.
Once you have your resume aligned with where you want to be, you will also need to create continuity between your new resume and your LinkedIn profile. You can get some major leverage through LinkedIn by optimizing your profile. The secret is connecting with the right recruiters so you can find yourself in their universe when they have a search need for a candidate (like you). Key word optimizing your profile to better align yourself with your next career steps will help you to “be found.”
Also, join as many relevant groups as you can and strategically connect with key group members. Just invite them into your network by introducing yourself as a fellow group member. Remember, you can change your profile settings to hide “job related” and “recruiter” groups so those group icons do not show on your profile.