10 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Career

10 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Career. In whatever we do, we all want to advance to the next level. Whether you recently got a job, or has been with the organization for a while, it is imperative that you show some growth. The job industry is a very competitive one, making it difficult for a lot of employees to move forward. The following tips will surely help you stand out and possibly move up the ladder quickly.

1. Advance Your Education

It may be time to go back to school, or at least back to an online certification course. You advance your education by completing your bachelor’s degree, getting a master’s degree, MBA or even a PhD. An advanced degree can help you get promoted or move between industries.

2. Invest in Your Strengths

Become increasingly aware of your natural strengths that allow your skill sets and capabilities to thrive and make the commitment to invest in them.  For example, if you are a good negotiator, never assume that your technique doesn’t require fine tuning.   Take a negotiations class, enhance your abilities and then put them to work more frequently.

3. Learn a New Language

Many positions today involve global communication when working in your home country, but if you take a position that’s abroad and are experiencing some language or cultural barriers, there are classes you can take in order to further your language skills or understanding of foreign business etiquette. Some employers will make it clear that you should be focusing on these skills, but if they don’t and you realize you are being passed over for promotions or on projects, this could be the reason.

4. Stay Current

One of the easiest ways you can ensure ongoing learning is by simply incorporating it, in small ways, into your daily habits at work and home. Catch up on emails, or read one article of value before you get up or over breakfast. If you commute to work, check out valuable industry podcasts that you can watch while in a taxi or train to work.

5. Get a Career Coach

Invest in a career coach to increase your commitment levels and hold yourself accountable. Identify individuals whose career you admire, or reach out to people in associations you’re involved in. Today’s competitive landscape requires you to stay on track by investing in someone that can provide you with the tools and perspective to keep you focused.

6. Improve Your Professional Profile

Highly competitive fields require you to be at the top of your game all the time, meaning you need to always show employers and clients that you have a unique value proposition and know how to position it. One effective way to do this is to raise your professional profile by joining professional associations. Not only will it help with your networking, but it will give you clout and improve your expertise.

7. Get a Professionally Written CV

Your resume is your most important job-search tool; the quality of this document can make or break your job search, so it’s essential that it’s at its best. There are experts who are trained in writing resumes that are proven to help professionals not only land a job faster, but also earn more. Working with a professional resume writer is the ultimate investment in your career, setting you up for a more successful job search and more money in your pocket in the long run.

8. Build Relationships

There are a lot of ways you can start building relationships. A simple way would be connecting with your co-workers and other individuals who work at your company. You can also get involved in industry or alumni meetups, volunteer in your community and chat with people on LinkedIn.

9. Build Your Brand Online

Own your own domain name and create a Web page to showcase your work. Keep updated profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites. Monitor your online presence so potential employers won’t find anything derogatory about you.

10. Dress the Part

Even if you work remotely or as a freelancer, dressing for your role is a big part of success. You might be surprised how throwing on a pencil skirt and blouse makes you instantly feel more professional, as opposed to working in yoga pants from your bed. You don’t need to spend a ton here to make a difference, either. Have a couple of white shirts, skirts, and a few pairs of pants then you are good to go.

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