The New Year is time to have clarity of mission, and to ask yourself how you can play to your own strengths and experiences. With this in mind, we at Nabs have come up with our ten top tips to help you boost your career in 2013.
1. Plan ahead You should ask yourself, what do I want to achieve in 2013? In a fast-paced industry like ours, you must take stock of what you’re doing so that you can plan how you can get to where you want to be in the future. Spend time setting out a plan that will give you direction, structure and just as importantly, focus. It gives you a framework by which to chart your success and move forward. However this doesn’t just apply to those wanting to move jobs, having a plan is also useful in moving forward within your existing company.
2. Keep track of your achievements It’s difficult to measure just how much you’ve achieved unless you keep a thorough track of your own past successes. Building up your personal portfolio not only gives you a sense of success but it will help define what your greatest professional achievements are, putting them in an easily accessible format that you can look back on and take pride in. It’ll help prepare you to showcase your talents, displaying how much you are worth to the people that matter.
3. View yourself as a brand Know what your brand is and what you can deliver for your business; your perceptions of yourself may not necessarily match how others perceive you; take the opportunity to find out how they differ. Know what you do well and build on what you could do better, learning from both your areas of strength and weakness to help you to improve.
4. Build your online brand Your personal brand plays a vital part in how you manage your image and other’s perceptions of you. Whether you are aware of it or not, all of our activities online - on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn - form an online personal profile that is searchable. Use this in a positive way, for example you can use these networks to demonstrate your professional development via Linkedin and keep up to date and interact with key players and issues through Twitter.
5. Never stop learning Review what training you’ve had over the past year and take a look at your successes. Use this as a basis to identify gaps in your skills and knowledge base and work out what you need to improve upon. Show your desire to learn and be willing to share your new skills with others, highlighting your assets and strengths to your colleagues and those around you.
6. Keep up to date Add value to your role by keeping up to date with the latest developments, trends and issues that can affect your work, your business and your clients’ businesses. Staying on top of current issues will give you the ability to speak about topics in a confident tone, earning the respect of fellow colleagues and standing out to those that matter.
7. Network Building relationships with your team, your clients, peers and management is a vital resource in both finding a new job and moving up the ladder. From the get-go you should aim to become involved in the business community and establish contacts. Striking up solid friendships and relations with people in and out of your own sector can be useful to you in the future. The age old saying: ‘It’s not what you know but who you know’ has some truth in it; having a varied network can be beneficial in the long run, allowing you to pool your resources and collaborate with others.
8. Identify a mentor You should identify a mentor that you can trust and aspire to be like, learn from someone who has many of the traits and skills you desire that can benefit your professional development and help you throughout your career. Your mentor should be able to provide honest support whether good or bad. Work with them to build on your strengths and incorporate new traits and tips, whilst still remaining authentic.
9. Be positive The pressure and speed that we work under in our industry won’t go away. However the way we think about things can help us to be more positive. Make 2013 the year that you practise ‘flipping it’: Reframe or flip a negative situation and look at the positives; think about what you have learnt. How can you change your behaviour to deal with similar situations in a better way? It’s proven that thinking more positively helps you to act in a more positive fashion, improving the way you interact with your team and senior management. You should also find activities that can help you to relax as this can aid your ability to think more constructively at work, for example, yoga, running and even comedy can all reduce levels of stress and anxiety. You should always seek advice if you are struggling, it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
10. Be proactive If you have to bring your boss a problem, make sure you offer a set of solutions as well. Get a plan of action together and suggest how best to address the issue. Being intuitive and using your initiative can play a big part in how well your peers and managers see you progressing. Look out too for ways you can actively contribute to the company and take an active role in planning sessions and brainstorms