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Career Advice

Whether you are just starting out, switching careers, seeking an exciting contract opportunity, or simply looking to advance within your chosen field, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you will reach your full career potential.

Self-Assessment: The more you know about yourself, the more likely you will be to make good career choices. Know your strengths and weaknesses, your experience, your skills, and your capabilities. Assess what’s important to you in areas like health, family, and finance. What are your goals, your interests, and your ambitions? What are you passionate about? Write down the answers to these questions and rank them according to importance. Another good exercise is to try to come up with a short statement of your life’s purpose. By assessing yourself in this way, you will be able to examine where you are right now and where you'll want to direct your energy in your career.

Build your skills: If you want to explore a newly discovered talent or simply enhance your existing skill set, take the initiative. Teach yourself - read books, take classes, get your friends to help out. When you can learn to be good at something, it builds confidence, and that gives you the courage to take risks. If you are looking to change careers, it’s also a great idea to volunteer in jobs in your chosen field to get a rundown of a typical “day-in-the-life”. Remember, you need more than intellectual knowledge to make a good decision.

Build Connections and Relationships: Regardless of how you are trying to advance your career, it is essential that you build good working relationships with the people around you. Simply put, networking works. In his book, The Envy of the World, Ellis Cose writes that "Corporations are social bodies that reward those fully engaged in the game. To the extent we try to hold ourselves above that process, we end up losing." But remember, networking is not just a fancy word for socializing. It's more than going to lunch with your colleagues - you have to put something out there. Be willing to invest the time and energy to build trusting relationships by sharing your ideas, resources, and talents with those around you. Having a full contact book of people with a wide variety of knowledge and influence can prove very valuable as your career develops.

 

 
 
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