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What can you do to set yourself apart from the pack and build the career of your dreams? Here are four strategies to consider.
In today’s ever-evolving job market, we continue to face an equal share of challenges and opportunities as a result of financial uncertainty, rapid advancements in technology, global communication and social recruiting. Thanks to these developments, our careers are bursting with ambiguity. The path ahead is inevitably untried, undefined and always changing.
What does this mean for your career? This is an important question to deliberate as we continue to move ahead in a new year.
The traditional career path is evolving. Gone are the days of climbing the stiff corporate ladder. Recent studies suggest more Canadian graduates and young workers are abandoning corporate positions to pursue entrepreneurship. Many believe the only way to ensure any level of stability in their careers is to build it themselves.
Whatever path you find yourself on, it may be time to develop a new framework for the way you think about your career – one that puts the power back in your hands. Here are some approaches to doing just that:
1. Focus on building a portfolio of unconventional skills.
We’re living and working in a complex, competitive business landscape – one with a diversity of career opportunities for employees. You shouldn’t be too definitive about your future job title and the skills required to get you where you want to be. Look beyond the single focus of your role and find ways to broaden your skill sets. Stay up-to-date on new technologies and business models, and seek ways to put yourself ahead of the curve.
2. Embrace a life of continuous learning.
No matter where you are in your career, you should be looking to create a continuous learning environment in which you challenge yourself with a variety of experiences. It’s no longer acceptable to turn away from new technology because you don’t understand it. Instead, you should be looking to master it before your competitors do. Don’t underestimate the value of investing in yourself – doing so may actually make you more money in the long run.
3. Develop an ever-widening network.
An extensive professional network continues to prove an invaluable tool to your career – but only if you use it appropriately. Networking should not be a strictly self-serving concept; it requires much personal contribution. Be inquisitive when building new relationships. Share your knowledge and skill sets in ways that show you are looking out for the other person’s best interests, not just your own. Take advantage of opportunities to connect with thought leaders in your field on social media, and stay in touch and relevant when reaching out to these individuals.
4. Allow yourself room to experiment.
The early days of your career are all about determining what works and what doesn’t work. It’s about understanding your strengths and weaknesses, then finding ways to use them both to your advantage. Accept failure as a part of the process – it’s perfectly normal and acceptable. Be prepared to take risks and step beyond your comfort zone; you may find that’s where your career truly begins to take off.
Do you have any tips to add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.