10 Wise Ways to Boost Your Career during the Winter Break
Most of us use the winter break as a time to let our hair down and engage in plenty of overeating and wild office parties. Unfortunately, the effects of these indulgences are often felt well into the New Year in the form of bulging waistbands and awkward apologies to co-workers. This winter, break from tradition and use your time off to boost your career prospects using the following 10 tips.
1. Improve your resume
Even if you have no intention of changing jobs in the near future, preparing a strong resume is an essential part of building your career. A better position may come up in your current company that you will need to interview for, or you may be lucky enough to get head-hunted by another company. When improving your resume, make sure you eliminate unnecessary dates, parentheses (use commas only), acronyms and jargon. Be sure to describe your previous job activities, your skills, and your career goals.
Travelling is much more than just a way to relax. Exploring distant lands leads to personal growth and development that will serve you well in the business world. Travelling also helps you improve your timekeeping and communication skills which are both an important part of working life.
There are always plenty of volunteer opportunities available around the holidays for a wide range of positions. Volunteering not only benefits the organisation you volunteer for, it is also a great way for you to learn new skills, check out other industries and expand your network of business contacts.
4. Start a blog
Blogging is an excellent way to improve your writing skills and get valuable feedback from your readers. Starting a blog that relates to your chosen career is a great way to learn more about your industry as you will need to research material for each blog post. A successful blog is also a nice item to include on a resume.
5. Research your industry
If blogging is not for you, then make sure you take the time to perform some research on your chosen industry. Keeping up to date with new developments and technology that relate to your career is vital if you want to improve your chances of climbing the corporate ladder. Be sure to check for any conventions or industry lectures that are taking place in your area.
6. Google yourself
Posting photos of wild college parties and drunken nights to your Facebook page may have been acceptable in the past, but cleaning up your online profile is extremely important for your professional career.
The majority of employers perform a search on potential candidates even before they get to the interview stage, so make sure you know exactly what is lurking online.
7. Start networking
Love it or hate it, networking is an essential part of developing your career. Building a strong network of business contacts will give you an edge over your competitors as well as providing a safety net in times of economic uncertainty. Attend conferences or even search online to find other people in your industry.
8. Practice your communication skills
Being able to communicate clearly and concisely is a valuable tool when it comes to business. Whether you are dealing with managers, co-workers or clients, getting your ideas across in the best possible way will inspire confidence and allow them to put their trust in you. First of all, learn how to be a good listener.
Listening is a crucial part of communication that helps build long and happy relationships. Never talk over people and don’t try to finish their sentences. Finally, keep eye contact with the person you are talking to. Your interlocutor will see that you are really interested in what they are saying.
9. Lose your fear of failure
A fear of failure can stop your career dead in its tracks, and many of us don’t even realize that we have it. If you have ever found yourself passing on a big promotion or project because you thought it was more than you could handle, this could be a sign that your fear is causing you to self-sabotage. Procrastination can also be a sign that a person is afraid to try in case they fail.
10. Make a plan for the future
You cannot expect to make progress in your life unless you have a clear idea of where you want to get to. Sit down and make a plan of where you would like to be in five years’ time and the necessary steps to get there. You should also know your goals and make sure that they are achievable. You will never become successful, if you don’t have any plan.
Even if you are completely happy in your current position, making a few changes to improve yourself will undoubtedly pay off in the near future. You may not be after a big promotion or a change of scenery, but performing your tasks to the best of your ability will almost certainly lead to increased job satisfaction. Are you going to boost your career this winter break?