After graduating college, you may have thought that opportunities will come knocking at your door. That would only be possible in a perfect world. In the real world, you will need to work a lot harder to land your dream job.
When a company has an opening for a position you have been dreaming of occupying, chances are you will have to fight it out with thousands of others.
The only way to improve your chances of landing the position is to ensure that you have something everyone else doesn’t, which can help you stand out. And here are 9 tips to help you improve your career prospects…
1. Ask For an Evaluation
Criticism can sting. But it is necessary because it can be difficult to identify what you are doing wrong or areas where you may need to make changes. So if you are employed, you could ask your boss to evaluate you.
If you feel that the boss is not the right person to criticize your performance, ask a colleague to do it and help you identify areas you may need to work on. If you are not employed currently, you could ask former colleagues to help you with constructive criticism of your performance.
2. Avoid Procrastination
Some people will not do a task unless deadlines pressure them. Often this occurs due to procrastination. While procrastination could result from pressure from other tasks, it is often a result of poor time management and can significantly affect your career.
Finishing tasks at the last minute will not reflect well on the client or your boss, especially when others get the job done faster. The best approach to beat procrastination is listing activities to do in a day in the order of priority and focusing on checking the tasks off as you complete them.
If you are a chronic procrastinator, then you may want to get rid of this bad habit once and for all. Attend this free web class from New York Times best-selling author John Assaraf where he shared the secrets of how you can stop procrastination forever.
3. Incorporate Technology
As an entrepreneur, you may not need to get a promotion. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot take control of your career. While being at the top in today’s competitive environment may not be easy, incorporating technology can help you improve efficiency and career progression.
For example, if you are in the real estate sector, investing in reliable real estate management software can help track and close deals faster while ensuring you stay compliant. If you are not yet decided on what software would work best for you, this comparison of real estate transaction management software platforms can help you make that choice.
4. Keep Learning
Career progression stalls when you stop learning. Today’s world is changing so fast that it’s impossible to keep up with all the changes. While you do not have to know everything, it would help if you stay up to date with changes in your industry.
Staying up to date calls for keeping yourself in the know by learning emerging trends. Luckily you do not always need to go back to college with every emerging trend. You can hone your skills by attending industry training workshops, reading industry-specific content, and, where need be, taking a course with an accredited college during your free time.
5. Work on Your Soft Skills
Besides technical skills, you may also want to hone your non-technical skills that are not industry specific but critical for career progression. According to statistics, soft skills are a major area of consideration when employers are recruiting or giving promotions.
Examples of soft skills include communication, creative problem solving, leadership, work ethic, conflict resolution, time management, and team playing. Most of these skills aren’t learned in class but through practice. However, you could still get organizations that can help you understand and bring out your soft skills and how to apply them for career progression.
6. Build Your Network
Building a professional network is a great way of boosting your career prospects. Networking means creating relationships and exchanging ideas with people in your industry. Forming networks can help you showcase your strengths to the people that matter while also gaining knowledge from industry experts.
Building your network involves joining and participating in industry-specific social media platforms, joining volunteer organizations, attending industry workshops, and engaging with professional associations. Talking to new people at industry-specific events can also help build your network.
7. Take on Challenges
You may never know your full potential if you do not leave your comfort zone. The best way of challenging yourself is volunteering for projects that are out of your training when opportunities present themselves in the workplace.
Taking on challenges in the workplace helps in two ways; identifying your strengths and showcasing your abilities to your boss, which can work as a plus for you when they are considering somebody for a promotion.
8. Clean Up Your Social Media
Everyone loves getting loose and goes wild from time to time. But your wild parties should never make it to your social media. Today social media is among the areas employers look at when considering candidates for employment.
Your social media can be a spoiler even when you have an impressive CV. If you know you have some things on your social media profiles that may paint you in a bad light to your employers, it may be time to clean it up. You could go a step further to boost your prospects by using social media to your advantage, like posting industry-specific content from time to time.
9. Consider Contract and Volunteer Work
Most employers will look at experience when choosing candidates to fill openings in their organizations. If you are fresh from college, a lack of experience can be a huge obstacle. But you can overcome it by taking up contractual work or volunteering in organizations in your industry.
A great place to find openings for contractual work is freelancing platforms. You can then use work completed in the platforms to get more clients on the platforms or add it to your portfolio.
Career progression doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of deliberate effort. But if you follow the tips highlighted in this post, you will be on your way to improving your career prospects. However, it may not happen overnight, so you must be patient.
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