Tuesday, August 1, 2017

10 Ways to Break Through the Career Brick Wall

Wake up, coffee, and work. When you can sum up your days to a sequence of emotionless actions that are repeated day after day, it’s a clear sign that the everyday routine is not working for you anymore. When every Sunday is the worst day of the week because it comes just before Monday, it’s time to sit down and consider your career. Have you hit a professional brick wall, or, in other words, do you feel like your career is going nowhere? Unfortunately, more and more people feel like banging their head against the wall when it comes to the obstacles in their career. Here’s a tip for you: Firstly, it doesn’t work a bit. Secondly, it hurts. So, you’d better be looking at other ways to break free from the imaginary cell that is stopping your progress. We’ve compiled 10 ideas to help you move things forward. Don’t let anything hold you back again.

#1. Not moving or not wanting to?
You’d be surprised to discover that your worst enemy when it comes to your career, is yourself. Indeed, people find a million of good reasons why they shouldn’t follow their dreams, from lack of money to fear of failure. The truth is that people will always lack money, courage and even time to move their career. But this is because planning is not always the best solution. When you think of your plan A and consider further alternatives for the cases where plan A would fail, then you are essentially planning for failure. In other words, if you choose to stick to your current position until you’ve secured enough money or enough time to change career safely, it’s likely that you’ll never change. Indeed, it’s refusing to take any risk that keeps you where you are.

#2. Train to impress
When you want to move your career forward, you need to impress the manager with your skills. You need to make yourself invaluable. What this means is that companies rely on their staff to grow. Consequently, if you are looking for a promotion or a change of career, it’s essential to have learned the relevant skills and collected official qualifications. Besides the skills you require for the job – and these vary with the roles – you should add any of the following to put all the chances on your side: A CPR certification or an online CPR renewal if you already have passed the test; a presentation qualification using PowerPoint or Keynote; a Google Analytics certification if you are aiming for a role in sales or design; a proofreading or editing certification for marketers; and a time management qualification for managerial roles. Always going the extra mile with your training is the best way to present a profile that will be valuable for the company.

#3. Are you shooting yourself in the foot?
You might be ready on paper, but your interview skills are stopping you from landing the dream job. Don’t laugh: Some candidates can say pretty weird things under pressure. The President of Darby Darnit Public Relation remembers a candidate explaining that his hobbies related to dating young women, for example. You can be sure that if you say something awkward, the recruiter will remember it… and choose against giving you the job! If face-to-face interviews aren’t your forte, it’s best to practice in advance and think about answers to the most common interview questions.

#4. Social connections are precious
Believe it or not, but networking is a precious tool when it comes to finding your dream job. Why so? Because knowing someone in the company means that you can find a direct connection with the manager or recruiter for the position that interest you. Besides, it means that you can get a positive reference inside the company. In other words, pump up your LinkedIn profile and don’t miss important business conferences. It’s easier to get a job when you’ve got a friend inside the company.

#5. Become an influential expert
Interestingly enough you can create your brand in the digital world. Starting your own blog is one of the safest ways to share your expertise online. It might take some time, but it can be helpful to discuss cases and present ideas to establish yourself as an influential figure who knows his or her stuff. Unfortunately, with new websites appearing every day, you need to be rather smart to make it work and get noticed. Start by securing a domain on WordPress as it will help you to maximize your search result in the long run. Additionally, you need to develop a helpful content: After all, people read your blog articles because they are interesting, not because they know you – but that’s how they will get to know you, so think of your blog as a self-promotion tool. Avoid guest blogging, especially when large companies approach you for permission to republish your articles. Guest blogging, when done in that way, doesn’t work: It just means that people read your content on another blog and then move on.  

#6. Ask yourself: Do I like my job?
There’s one important thing that you should find out about your career block, namely, whether you love your job. Dharmesh Shah is HubSpot founder, and he gives a list of signs that are a clear indication that you’re in the right career path. First of all, Dharmesh considers the multiple layers of his job with pleasure: He hopes he gets to work on new things, instead of hoping to avoid it. He enjoys his time at work and doesn’t get any Sunday evening’s anxiety at the thought of going to the office the next day. He would recommend working at his company to his best friend, that’s how much he loves the place. Besides, employees who enjoy their job perceive their managers as a partner to work with, and not as the person they have to work for – this makes all the difference!

#7. What’s your passion?
Embracing your passion is the one thing you have to do to fall in love with your job. But this means two things: Firstly you need to find your passion. Secondly, you need to change career if your job is not fulfilling your passion. Finding your passion can be a little tricky at first, but you need to consider all the things you enjoy doing. Focus especially on the one you do without noticing that time is passing. That’s the thing you want to keep in your career! Embracing your passion, and turning it into a career demands a lot of courage and time, as nothing happens overnight. You need to invest in your craft as you build a portfolio list and a career.

#8. Don’t let the management style block the way
Not every manager has got their team under control. Some teams are just draining your energy and turning every work day into a nightmare. For the sake of your career, you should remain aware of obstacles that the management style is leaving in your way. For a start, if you’ve worked hard to hone your skills, you’d expect the rest of the team to work equally hard on their skills. It can be extremely demotivating to find that you’re the only one with high professional standards. Additionally, working in a team means that you can expect a fair exchange of skills and experience. The absence of it can lead to a devaluation of your skills.

#9. Work with a personal coach
More often than not, the best way to move your career forward is to work closely with a coach who can advise on your professional steps. It’s not only about what to say to whom, but it’s about getting an honest review of your professional abilities and improving them for the best. A coach can help you to address areas of improvement and make your profile more valuable to your manager or a recruiter.

#10. Learn from the mistakes of the past
Everyone makes mistakes, and that includes you. Naturally, you could cry over the faux-pas of your past or the many reasons why you haven’t succeeded in landing the perfect job. But, your time would be better utilized if you focused on understanding what went wrong and making sure that you don’t repeat your mistakes. A common mistake is failing to show confidence in your skills. Recruiters easily pick on a lack of self-esteem and prefer to avoid such employees as they feel they can’t be trusted with challenging projects. Knowing what to say and how to behave to express self-confidence and show that you know your stuff is helpful. Or maybe you’ve complained to a colleague in the past, and things have backfired? Knowing your friends and your enemies is another good tip here.  

There are plenty of ways to gain back control over your career and move it forward. Remember that doing nothing is never going to improve it. Take things in hand and build your professional success now!

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