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5 ways to take charge of your career growth in 2020

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2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. You may feel like putting everything on hold, but don’t - remote working has placed more time on your hands, and this is your chance to take control of your career and set the direction for your advancement. Let us show you 5 core steps to take, to pave the way to your success. 

1. Map Out Your Success.

Now’s the best time to plan out your career trajectory. Take a moment to ask yourself what your ideal career path looks like, and set specific goals. It’s important to visualize the bigger picture behind achieving your career goals. Here are some great starting points:

  • Determine where you are at present, and what you want to accomplish in your current role. Are you acquiring new knowledge / skills about your field? Does your role inspire you to master the skills you need to take your career to new heights?
  • Determine where you would want your career to go in the future. During these unprecedented times, continue to look for ways to prepare yourself for future opportunities, by signing up for upskilling courses online, or joining virtual networking events.
  • Measure your progress. As you traverse your career path, make it a point to assess your progress periodically. Perhaps, you could re-evaluate your short-term and long-term professional goals every six months. Additionally, keep a portfolio of your best work, and keep it updated regularly.

 2. Develop Yourself Purposefully.

Own your professional development. In any industry, it benefits your career growth when you take care of your skills and knowledge and make sure that they are current. When you’ve visualized your career path, you should go a step further — find out what kind of training you need, and bravely pursue it. So, keep learning! Look forward to upskilling courses to hone your strengths and work on your weaknesses. For instance, you could take up an online course on Coursera to brush up on your digital communication skills or gain a new certification. Could now be a good time to consider getting an MBA? Always keep a lookout for any opportunities to learn, whether formal or informal. Upskilling only propels you forward in your career and uplifts you as the ideal job candidate in this new age of modern technology.

3. Put Yourself Out There.

It’s never too late to embrace the power of networking. Here’s a Half The Sky pro-tip: establish and update a LinkedIn profile! LinkedIn is your handy social networking tool — with it, you can expand your network, tap into industry news, and build your professional brand online. It makes it a lot more accessible for you to nurture meaningful relationships and cultivate your network. In this way, let LinkedIn and other social media apps be your springboard. Once you have linked up with like-minded contacts, initiate interactions. You could drop a message and start a conversation. On a larger scale, you could engage your social media audience — post about your best work, and share articles which reflect your expertise. Every post is an opportunity for you to lead a productive conversation that could lead to a job opportunity or discussions about your career aspirations.

4. Make Yourself Heard.

Sometimes, finding your voice — especially when you are in a professional setting — may be daunting. Here’s a reminder: you are an integral part of a team, and your presence is invaluable. When you use your voice, not only will you offer the knowledge, ideas and unique perspectives that could contribute immensely to any project, it also makes your presence and capability known. When you speak up, be thoughtful and intentional. Let your managers recognize your diverse skills and interests and get to know you better. This could bolster your chances of getting that upcoming promotion.

How should you begin? Find a mentor, who could help you hone your career goals and suggest ideas on attaining them. Ask questions, and get to know them — learn from their professional journeys. If your mentor works with you, seek their feedback. Doing so allows you to better understand your strengths and weaknesses. Constructive feedback enables self-improvement — a key factor in your career development.

5. Give Back & Pay It Forward!

Make it part of your weekly routine to pay it forward. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our professional lives in different ways, and there has never been a better time to help each other out with reaching our career goals. Connect with others on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and focus on forming fruitful and genuine friendships. Your goal is to understand your network better so that you can look out for the right opportunities for them.

For one, your job search could be a collaborative effort. Often, when you’re looking out for a role, you will come across roles which don't seem like a good fit for you, but ticks all of the boxes on someone else’s checklist. Be sure to pass them along to your network. Take the chance to share personal job search stories and advice, to offer motivation. Keeping an eye out for others makes the job-seeking feel less isolated, and sets up a healthy culture of helping. Your community will also appreciate you for being sincere, and remember your sense of leadership in their time of need.

Additionally, invest time in posting resources which could be valuable to your followers on your social media platforms. This could be insights, reports or interviews — anything which proves useful to your peers in your industry. You will be setting yourself apart as a mentor to others — an opinion leader, whom people will be looking to for guidance. At the end of the day, you are growing a network of people who know and trust you, and understand what kind of help you need when the time comes.

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About half the sky
 

half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women in Asia. We connect women to career opportunities at companies that care. We also want to equip you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the workplace today and the future.

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