Do you feel stuck in a rut in your current role? Feel it’s time to move on or up? Here are some tips to help you make the transition:
Pick the right ladder:
Before heading down a road, think about whether you really want to get to the destination. Ask your inner child; what do I want to be when I grow up? If you could magically journey five years into the future, where would you be in an ideal world? What would have improved for you? Is this new world a total transformation, or is it a new and improved version of the one you’re in now? Having a clear idea of where you want to go makes it easier to set targets and milestones.
Fail to plan? Plan to fail.
Devising a career strategy and knowing where you’re going is the first step, but just as important is understanding the plan you’ll need to get yourself there; you might need qualifications, training or fundamentally different work experience. Set your targets, then go for them, constantly reviewing your plan in the process and updating where necessary. You need to make it happen by being a proactive creator, not a passive reactor to external events.
Education, education, education.
Qualifications send out an important message on your CV; they demonstrate commitment to your skills and your career progression, they show intellectual capacity and they illustrate engagement with a particular field. Professional education is also a fantastic networking opportunity, bringing you new contacts that can be invaluable as your career develops. Make sure you pick the right course for you by doing your research, talking to as many people as you can, so you can optimise the relevance to your chosen career. Once you’ve got your new qualification, show that you can put your learning into practice by making opportunities to implement your new skills – volunteering is a great way to start.
Talk to the experts
Unless you are an HR expert with a degree in English and a background in recruitment, the best way to optimise crucial career steps is to use a professional CV writing service. A CV is the second most important document you’ll ever need, after your passport, so make sure it is a finely honed sales brochure, perfectly calibrated to your skills and experience. Just as important in an effective recruitment strategy is a persuasive, engaging LinkedIn profile, as well as a professionally fluent and relevant cover letter. And it can never hurt to polish your interview skills – City CV’s expert interview training service, for example, gets transformative results, with experienced coaches who use leading-edge training methods to promote effective job interview performance
Act as if
Imagine you’ve made it already, and start thinking like the people you see who are already doing the job you want to move into. How are they different? How do they think? How do they relate to others? How can you make yourself act, execute and communicate more like them? To find out, you need to talk to as many of these people as you can. Work out what you need to know, and don’t be frightened to ask senior people for advice; you’ll be surprised how much people like to be asked and (subtle) flattery will get you everywhere.
It’s who knows you.
To some people, networking comes easy. They can talk to anyone, anytime, about anything. Most people, however, need to work at it. That means you need to pluck up your courage, ditch your inhibitions and actually talk to people in your target sector. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. People often enjoy dispensing wisdom, and don’t forget they’re also making new contacts, especially with ambitious, motivated types like you who are on the way up. Be straight with them, too. Talk about your ambitions and ask how to get where you want to go and hopefully you will find doors will start to swing open. And don’t forget to write a good LinkedIn profile summary; you need to be an industry expert in that particular social network.