There are a lot Average Joes out there who do the bare minimum to get by. That’s fine, if you’re prepared to kiss goodbye the prospect of a promotion, salary increase, big bonus or glowing midyear review.
We live in a digital age where new technologies are constantly redefining how we work, and the jobs market is extremely competitive. Those who simply coast along and fail to adapt are setting themselves up to be crushed in the stampede of competition. Not only are you vying against other workers, but now you’re having to answer to machines that can process information quicker than you’d care to compete with.
Stagnating is the first step to going backwards. The key is to be proactive with your own professional development and move forward. Here are 5 tips on how you can get ahead:
1. Become a mentor
A lot of people would like to be managers, but don’t have the platform to prove themselves. If you are looking for a way to practice leadership and showcase your people skills, why not offer to mentor a less experienced colleague? If you have interns or a grad scheme at your company, why not put your hand up to help them out once in a while? This will help you cut your teeth as a manager and prove your commitment to bettering yourself.
2. Complete an online course
A free online course, or MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), will help to fill in gaps in your knowledge and up skill in areas of great importance. Learning the content won’t cost you anything, but you’ll be able to hone in on weak spots in your skill set. A lot of the courses are written and supported by real universities and educational organisations, so you know your time is being well spent. Not only will you benefit from the extra knowledge, but the proactive approach to your own professional development will be something to be admired.
3. Be active on social media
These days, employers have to market their organisations as great places to work, in the same way employees have to market themselves online. The emergence of social media as an extensive platform for networking and sharing information means companies have to have a presence. Why not help with yours, creating blog content and social updates?
Being tech-savvy and understanding the current social online landscape will be extremely valuable to your career. As the world moves further and further down the track of digitalisation, equip yourself with the know-how to keep up. You’ll also win brownie points from your marketing department for lightening their load.
4. Support a charity
Supporting a charity is a win-win situation for everyone. As well as helping out people who really need it, donating time or money for people less fortunate than you is also likely to give you a new perspective on your priorities. It might also present you with the push you need to knuckle down and make your dreams come true.
Most larger organisations will already support a charity, so asking HR how to get involved in fundraising initiatives is the best step. If your company doesn’t have any existing relationships, why not register with Everydayhero? This site allows you to set up a fundraising page and select which charity you would like to support. The softer skills you learn from being selfless will go a long way to rounding out your profile in the eyes of employers, too.
5. Build your internal network
Join an internal committee, or put your hand up to help out with upcoming company events. At a minimum, try to get involved Make yourself known across your business, make introductions and seek opportunities to learn form the people around you who are more experienced.
If you really want to be noticed, why not ask about your company’s internal or international mobility options? Completing a secondment in a different area, offering to visit other offices or putting your hand up for an internal transfer will not only show your commitment, but also offer you the opportunity to learn new skills and get a holistic view of your company’s operations.