It’s easy to get stuck in a work rut these days, especially when the world is going through recession...most people are just glad they have a job at all! I’ve been thinking recently about my career, though, after talking to a friend who has been in the same job for six years and is feeling utterly stuck. We should always be working towards improving our careers, and I’ve been researching exactly how to do that. Here are my top tips...
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Do you feel that you deserve a pay rise? Well, you’ll have to convince your employer of that too. Keep a diary of all the extra work you do over a month, and research average salaries for your role both in your company and in others. Don’t be emotional, be factual, and if your boss can’t give you a rise, consider other benefits that would be acceptable. And pick your moment....if your company has just declared redundancies, it’s probably not the best time.
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Want to be the boss? These days, companies have so much to deal with that they don’t think about promotions, so chances are you’ll need to be proactive. See what jobs you can take over for your boss, to make their lives easier. You’ll also prove that you are competent, and can cope. Take any feedback and make sure you use it, whether you agree with it or not. Offer to mentor new employees, or take notes in interviews, so you get managerial experience. Basically, do everything you can to show you would be a good manager!
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Think outside of your company, and network. Go to professional events, even if you have to go alone, and make yourself known to people in your field. Employers are more likely to employ someone they have been recommended or have met, so get yourself known! Keep any internet profiles private, so that potential employers won’t be put off, and keep your eyes on the job listings to see who has vacancies. Keep your finger on the pulse!
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Think about what you want to do with your life, and whether you are in the right career. If you aren’t, do something about it! Talk to friends and family about what careers they think would suit your personality, read about different jobs and look at qualifications that interest you. Think about your transferable skills, and consider volunteering to get some experience. Changing careers can be hard work, but it’ll be so worth it if it makes you happier!
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Everyone dreams about going to work abroad, but if there is a country you love, why not look for work there? You’ll need to learn the language, but it has huge benefits, even if you come back home after a while. It’ll boost your skills, and make you a much more desirable employee! Jobs like markets and pulling pints won’t cut it, though, so start searching for relevant jobs!
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Whether you are loving your job or just waiting to get out, give it 110% and work with a smile. Be passionate, and make the most of what you are doing...if you are actively looking to change your life for the better, you might as well try to enjoy the waiting period! You’ll be using your skills and keeping them fresh, earning money and gaining a better reference!
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If you are still feeling confused, consider going to see a careers advice service. Most of them have amazing advice, and they aren’t just for teenagers! They might even have connections with the industry you are interested in, or be able to arrange ‘trials’ with different industries so you can decide what you want to do. They’ll also have information on qualifications and funding, and usually know about local job vacancies, too.
You spend a lot of time at work, so it’s worth investing some time into making sure you are doing the best you can, and getting what you want out of your job. After all, you could find that by putting a little extra effort in, you’ll get a promotion and a pay rise! And who could say no to that?! Have you got a tip for boosting your career? I’d love to hear it!
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