As the leaves change colors and those famous pumpkin spice lattes make their seasonal returns, Fall is also “conference season” – the time between summer vacations and winter holidays when people are attending industry meetings, back to work and most focused – making this a great time to look at ways to strengthen and spice up your career. Try these “incredibly simple” things to build up your career:
Build Good Habits – Christie Mims, professional career coach and founder of Forbes Top 100 Website, The Revolutionary Club, advises choosing five companies or career experts to follow on social media. While you never know when a job listing may pop up, the important thing, she writes for The Muse, is to create “… a habit of focusing on your career and keeping your options open.”
Build Your Library – Mims also suggests buying (and actually reading) a book relevant to your field or helpful to personality traits that you could work to improve (time management, organization, leadership, etc.). For example, try “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge – Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority” if you do not have a boss that is helpful to your career advancement.
Build Your Bank Account – Creating a networking budget, Mims offers, helps you follow through on your intention to build your network. Setting aside small amounts of money may also take away an excuse when networking opportunities arise. Maybe having the funds to invite a career mentor out to seek advice as you sip on a latte or cocktail will lead you to your next idea or opportunity.
Build Your Influence – In her commencement speech at USCearlier this year, Oprah told graduates the best piece of advice she could give them as they began their careers was to “… become so skilled, so vigilant, so flat-out fantastic at what you do that your talent cannot be dismissed.” She advised them to put their best foot forward, even at times they are unfulfilled in their role or company. Increase your visibility by volunteering for projects or speaking up to brainstorm solutions when a need is identified. This can be particularly helpful when opportunities present themselves outside of your direct line of reporting.
Build Your Network – Attending conferences or industry events or joining an industry association can also help build your influence. In addition to potentially learning new tricks to your trade, the more opportunities you give yourself to connect with people in your industry, the more you are boosting yourself with a team of people and possible opportunities. Networking is incredibly important to increasing your resilience if you find yourself back on the job market.
There is much beyond your control (such as market conditions or turnover upline) making it imperative you control what you can. Ask not what your company can do for you, but what you can do for your company and for yourself. Work hard, put yourself out there and spice up your lattes AND strengthen your career this Fall.