Are you ready to advance your career but not sure how to make the big break? The thing is: It might not be a big break that gets you where you want to be. A lot of little things can add up to opening up your career choices.
We build habits in every aspect of our lives. Do you hit the gym after work every day? Or gulp a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up? These habits are formed over time and with repetition. You can apply this same concept to work habits.
We came up with 11 habits that you can adopt (and practice) that will help you advance your career.
This means getting close with coworkers, handing out business cards at networking events and connecting with like-minded individuals on LinkedIn or Twitter. You never know who will give the career help – or the job offer – that you’ve been looking for. The bigger you build your network, the better your chances of landing your next gig. And make sure you keep those relationships active. Connecting and forgetting won’t cut it.
Have An Elevator Pitch
Networking is key to finding new career opportunities, and to do it right, you need to have a solid elevator pitch. The term comes from the fact that you should be able to introduce yourself, explain what you do and share your objective within a 30-second elevator ride. It should be genuine and persuasive – the idea is to intrigue your audience to learn more about you. It might seem silly, but you should practice it. And don’t be afraid to revisit it as things change.
If you’re always playing the blame game, the repercussions are worse than not being asked to happy hour by your coworkers. Your supervisor will notice that you refuse to be accountable and they will refrain from assigning important work. This lack of initiative will pave a dead-end in your career path. If you can admit your mistakes, it shows you’re self-aware and motivated to learn from them.
Ever heard the saying about change being the only constant in life? Well, that couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to the business environment, especially in an increasingly global market. If you’re willing to take on tasks outside of your job description, you may just find career opportunities that you never imagined. Career guidance 101: Keep your options open; you never know where they may lead.
Commit To Learning
Go beyond your company’s workplace learning programs and instill a habit of curiosity. If you don’t know something, look it up. Ask coworkers to show you how to do something instead of passing it on to the expert on the team. As you learn, be sure to share this newly founded expertise with your manager and team. Being able to make organic innovations will get you noticed – and promoted.
Take Feedback Seriously
People often arch their backs at hearing what they’re not doing well. But this should be looked at as an opportunity to improve, which can ultimately lead to your next job. If you didn’t know what was holding you back, you wouldn’t be able to overcome it and get to the next stage in your career.
Keep Your Portfolio Updated
If you’re networking and keeping your ear to the ground, you have to be ready to pounce when the opportunity arises. If you keep a complete portfolio at the ready, you can rest assured you’re not going to miss anything in a rush to compile your application. Show you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished by keeping your work organized.
Don’t Miss A Deadline
Be accountable for your work. Show the team – and your boss – that you’re up for the job you have now. If you can’t prove that, you’ll get passed up for a promotion. You’re only as good as your word, so be sure you deliver.
Think Before You Speak
It’s good to have opinions and ideas, especially if you’re jockeying to land a promotion, but consider how your communications sound on the receiving end before you open your mouth. Be sure you’re coming across clearly and concisely – and respectfully.
You want to be professional in every aspect of your work. And even if you’re not a copywriter, you should be an effective written communicator. Reread every email, text, post or tweet before your audience receives it. Nothing says sloppy or lazy like an email full of grammatical errors.
Focus Your Energy
If you’re in a meeting, pay attention to the person speaking. Actively offer ideas and engage in dialogue. You’ll be remembered as the employee participating and not incessantly checking their phone or writing emails. Multitasking actually lowers productivity so give each task the undivided time it deserves to do it right.