Five Ways to Get Your Career Ducks in a Row

iStock_000020614872_LargeThere’s an old saying, “Have all your ducks in a row.” It means that you are completely prepared, right down to the last detail. You might ask how this applies to you and how you can make this work for you…

So, you’ve decided to look for a job… Are you prepared? You should ALWAYS be prepared, because you never know what the future holds. From great opportunities, to downsizing… ANYTHING can happen.

Let’s go over just a few ways you can get those ducks lined up:

  1. Documentation: Is your resume up to date? How long has it been since you last updated your resume? This is an area most wait until they need it and then end up in a panic because they are unprepared, when In fact it should always be current and ready to go. Whether you write it yourself or hire someone, get it together today. You’ll find that this makes the entire process much easier.
  1. Style: Attire and hairstyle, modern and professional? You don’t want anything dated, nor do you want something out in leftfield. Proper professional attire and hairstyle are necessary for interviews and believe it or not, it can be done affordably. This is another area that you shouldn’t wait until the last second for.
  1. Education/Training: Education information and skills current? We should always be a student in our chosen fields and in life, in general. It keeps the mind sharp and keeps you current within our fields. Skill sets: are you staying current in all of your skill sets? What many consider age discrimination is very simply put, outdated skills caused by complacency. It’s all too easy to sit back and get lazy with one’s skills when you’ve been at a job for a long period of time (even if you hate the job).
  1. Attitude: although age discrimination is a very real thing, often it is a mindset one creates. I’ve met many a person that are so young at heart that age has NEVER been an issue and they’re well into their 60’s and 70’s, but I’ve also met some in their 40’s that come off ancient. Don’t allow a bad attitude become your greatest hurdle to finding a new or better job.
  1. Contacts: your network shouldn’t be seen as simply a “network” you fall back on when you need it. These should be both personal and professional friends. I can’t stress this one enough… You can’t expect people to put their neck out for you, if they only hear from you, when you want something. Be a friend and friends will want to help, in a heartbeat.

These are just a few areas that can help you in finding a new job or even advancing within your present company. Don’t take them for granted.

Have a wonderful week!

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Are You a Life Long Student??? Be One!

copyOften when I work with clients that are struggling to find a job, I ask if they have any ongoing job training or classes to add to their resume and get the answer, “No.” There are many different reasons why, but sadly many people seem to think that they know all that they need to know in their chosen field. Heck, I don’t know all that I need to know in ANY aspect of my life, so how can I be so sure that I know all that there is to know about my field??? No one and I mean NO ONE knows everything there is about their field of choice and we can all afford to pick up a class or training session here and there. Jobs change, fields evolve, and there’s never anything that simply stays the same. Either we evolve with the rest of the world or we die, so to speak.

Here are just a few tips for getting up to date or picking up new skills that can advance your career…

  1. Online courses are everywhere and far more respected than they once were. Check out local colleges to see what they offer, as well as the online universities out there.
  2. Local adult education centers are another great choice for getting new or renewed skills.
  3. Participating in professional associations and taking some of their trainings can be a wonderful networking advantage, as well as a way to learn new skills.
  4. And finally, understand that the only true way to advance in your field or compete in the job market is to know that there’s always something new to learn and to seek that knowledge out… It’s just a common sense thing.

If you take this advice and keep the heart of a student, you’ll be much more satisfied with your skills and career. We were never created to stop learning… It’s good for the mind and good for those seeking success in their chosen fields.

My challenge for you this week…                                                                                                                                              

Get out there and see the classes are available to you and what interests you. You’ll be surprised at what’s available.