lifestyle

6 things you can do for your career today (so get cracking).

Time to get cracking.

It’s never a good idea to sit back and wait for things to happen to you, particularly when it comes to your career.

Think about how much time and energy you’ve put into creating it – from those first dreams and ambitions in high school, to finding an actual job – and how good it felt when you received your first pay.

Now that I have graduated from a job to an actual career that I love, the last thing I want to do is sit back and wait for things to happen to me. I want to do all that I can to ensure I not only have job security, but I enjoy my work too. I’m not suggesting you stomp about throwing your weight around and demanding things. That’s how to achieve the opposite of what I am talking about.

But there are six simple steps you CAN take to improve your career today.

1. Request a performance review.

Many workplaces conduct regular performance reviews with staff – however, a surprising number still don’t, or forget to because the nature of the business is just too crazy-busy. So, ask for one. Ask your direct superior for a sit down to discuss your performance so you can figure out exactly where you stand and ways in which you can improve. A good employer will also listen to your feedback and take on suggestions.

“Many workplaces conduct regular performance reviews with staff – however, a surprising number still don’t, or forget to because the nature of the business is just too crazy-busy. “

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by CareerOne. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

2. Attend career fairs.

Career expos are an invaluable resource for those looking for work, for anyone wanting to change career directions and for employees wanting to take their careers to the next level. These days, you don’t have to show up to a massive hall and collect pamphlets. Some of the best ones are online.

The Women at Work online career fair is on this June 2015, in partnership with Acquire Learning, Workplace Gender Equality Agency and News Corp. This fair is dedicated to empowering women at work and will provide a platform that broadens the discussion around gender participation rates and pay inequity in the workforce. There will also be a dedicated webinar speaker series with inspiring stories and advice from some of Australia’s most respected senior executives.

3. Set goals.

Your goal might be to stay doing exactly what you are doing for as long as possible. That’s totally fine. But you may also have your eye on a different role or a promotion, and setting goals to achieve these career steps is a good idea. Are your goals viable? Are you qualified? If unsure, ask your superior during your performance review what you need to do to become qualified. Don’t be afraid to set pay rise goals, either.

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4. Find a mentor.

I’ve had several mentors and have benefited from each and every one. Don’t be shy to ask for advice. You don’t have to make it too formal, but a good idea is to explain that you admire their work and career and you’d appreciate their advice from time to time if they have a moment to spare. It’s fun for them too, to be able to share the wisdom they’ve developed through experience and hard work.

“It’s fun for them too, to be able to share the wisdom they’ve developed through experience and hard work.”

5. Network with others in the same industry.

Every Thursday morning my sister drags herself out of bed very early for a business networking breakfast with other small businesses in the area. She has learned so much, made some amazing contacts, gotten great advice and managed to set up a very loyal business network made up of business people who can call on each other at any time, refer business to each other and just spend time venting about the challenges of starting a business. Look out for them in your local area or even on social media.

“Every Thursday morning my sister drags herself out of bed very early for a business networking breakfast with other small businesses in the area.”

6. Further education and training.

Some companies will suggest additional education and training you can pursue if you choose. Or you can take it upon yourself to enrol in courses you feel may assist you in your career sometime in the future. You can never go wrong with further education and training. Ask your mentor, your superiors and colleagues for advice on which courses would improve your career in the future.

What do you do to achieve your career goals?
Here are some high-achieving women, should you need some more inspiration…

Want more? How about:

Radical idea: Could job-hopping be good for your career?

You need to stop thinking of your career as a ladder. Instead, think of it as a jungle gym.

CareerOne is a leading online employment and technology company that has been helping people find jobs in the Australian market for over 14 years.  You can learn more about CareerOne at our company page www.careerone.com.au/ourcompany

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