New year, new career? Or perhaps you just need a new approach to your career, a new skill set or you want to support others in their careers.
Whatever you want from your career in 2024, here are 24 tips to help you along the way.
How to get the most out of your career
1. Prioritise upskilling
Learning new skills or honing existing ones will mean you can take advantage of more opportunities, whether that’s in your current company or with another employer.
If you want to take it one step further, professional career coaching provides a great way of identifying what you want from your career and helping you achieve your goals.
2. Network and meet new people
It might sound like a cliché, but sometimes it really is all about who you know. Networking can help you advance your career, see things from a different point of view and develop deeper relationships.
3. Sign up to job alerts
If you’re looking for a new role, sign up to vacancy alerts and make connections with recruiters in your industry. Keeping your finger on the pulse will mean you can react quickly when a new job is posted, and getting to know recruiters will keep you top of mind.
4. Make sure your CV is up to date
If you see a position you want to apply for or you’re headhunted for one, having a current CV at your fingertips will help you be amongst the first to apply.
And if you’re not sure how to create a stand-out CV, a professional CV writing service is only a click away.
5. Update your profile and get more active on LinkedIn
Over 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary candidate source and dismiss incomplete or badly written profiles.
And you never know who’s watching or who you’ll connect with. There’s no time to start like right now!
Need some help? Watch this video to find out what you should write in your LinkedIn summary, or contact our LinkedIn experts who can write you a killer profile that will help you bag an interview for your dream job
6. Understand your value and own it
We don’t just mean in terms of salary or benefits, but also in terms of the skills, expertise and experience you bring to a business. Simply knowing your value brings about a positive mindset and helps you be your own advocate.
7. Remember what you’ve accomplished
Take a trip down memory lane and evaluate what you’ve accomplished in your career to date. What have been the highlights, the challenges and the achievements? Think about what you enjoy and how you can do more of it, and use this evaluation to inform what you’ll do next.
8. Have a career makeover
Are you stuck in a professional rut? If so, why not consider a career change? Yes, it’s often said, but you only have one life, and you spend a lot of time at work. If there’s something you’d rather be doing, figure out how you can go about doing it.
9. Make the most of your talents
A lot of people we speak to say that their friends, family and colleagues approach them with similar kinds of questions with the expectation of getting an expert answer.
Are you the go-to person for questions on a particular topic? And if so, have you considered that you may be able to weave this into a career?
Volunteering is a great way to boost career development because you can learn or hone transferable skills like communication and problem-solving. You’ll also get to meet a lot of people from all walks of life who can give you a different perspective on things, and it demonstrates commitment.
11. Focus on your weaknesses
A lot of us find it difficult to acknowledge our weaknesses, but taking a step back and really focusing in on them can help you improve them.
Think especially about your soft skills. Could you be a better communicator or team player? Do you need to listen more, be more organised or improve your time management? Understanding the areas where you could improve is the first step in strengthening your skills.
12. Get professional recognition
Are you in a career that has a professional body? A great way to earn recognition is with a professional designation from your industry body. It also demonstrates the quality of your training and your high level of commitment to your job.
13. Get out of your comfort zone
In your career, as in life in general, it’s important to challenge yourself and overcome your fears. There’s a lot of potential on the other side of your comfort zone. And if nothing else, you’ll definitely learn something!
Watch this video for a six-step way to put your career plan into action and take your professional bull by the horns…
14. Ask for feedback
It’s not something a lot of us do regularly (maybe we’d rather not hear the response!), but getting constructive feedback, whether that’s from your manager or your colleagues, can really help your growth and performance.
15. Build a portfolio of your work
It’s easy to forget your accomplishments and achievements, so make a list or portfolio of them to use alongside your CV (it’ll also remind you of everything you’ve done in your career and how far you’ve come).
For more advice, check out these short CV masterclass videos.
16. Stay up to date with your industry
This sounds like a no-brainer, right? But it’s often something that gets pushed to the end of a list and you just don’t get round to doing it.
If you can make some time each week, even for just 15 minutes, to read trade press, watch recent videos or see what influencers in your industry are up to on social, it can spark some great ideas as well as being good conversation-starters in your networking endeavours.
17. Get a mentor
Having a mentor doesn’t have to be paid for – a polite, private message to a former colleague on LinkedIn may well lead to invaluable nuggets of advice.
Someone you know will probably know someone working in the sector you’re interested in, and most people are happy to help.
Having a mentor helps you kickstart your career, set and attain goals, develop professionally and make better decisions.
This is a great way to transform your career without going back into education – and you can find more transformational options in this blog post.
18. Be a mentor
While getting a mentor can help boost your career, you can also get a lot out of mentoring someone else.
Being a mentor offers a few benefits, including:
- Becoming a better leader
- Helping to shape future leaders
- Seeing things through a new lens
- Learning new things
19. Learn to say no
This holds especially true for women, but affects everyone.
The ability to say no (the right way) is one of the most powerful skills you can have. It helps us set boundaries, prioritise ourselves, avoid burnout and can even advance your career.
20. Know when to say yes
While saying no and setting boundaries is really important in the workplace, it’s just as important to know when to say yes.
So, when is that? It’s when you know you can truly commit to something, or perhaps when there’s a reciprocal agreement, i.e. you get something out of it, too. And don’t forget, if you’re saying yes, you must understand the scope of what you’re saying yes to!
21. Overcome your imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome comes in many forms – not just self-doubt. It’s important to understand how it manifests itself for you and why you get it so you can figure out some solutions to help overcome the feelings of being an imposter in the workplace.
Interested in finding out more? Check out our workplace webinars that help professionals embrace their inner imposter.
22. Master your time management
Being able to manage your time effectively will help you become more productive, meet your deadlines every time and find increased job satisfaction.
If this is something you struggle with, make sure you set attainable goals, prioritise wisely and take breaks between small tasks.
23. Ask for help
Struggling through each day and don’t know how to manage? It’s ok to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign that you know there’s something you need to change or improve on.
Whether you reach out to your manager or a colleague, asking for help is the first step to improving your professional situation.
24. Practise empathy
Empathy is a sometimes-underrated skill. It helps us understand the feelings of others and respond in a positive way that helps the situation. In the workplace, this can be crucial in supporting colleagues, building or being part of great teams and creating a positive workplace culture.
In a nutshell you should be actively managing your career. Start building your personal brand before you even start the job hunt, get networking, find a mentor, and consider professional career coaching.
Alternatively, to talk to one of the team, call +44 20 7100 6656 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.