Often during this time of year, there is a focus on giving gifts to others ... finding the “perfect” gift or the best “cyber sale.” This holiday season as you stroll through the aisles at the store or fight for your parking spot at the mall, consider giving a gift to yourself … invest in your own career success. Make a personal commitment to manage yourself and to invest in your career.
Who is the expert on you? YOU! As Dr. Suess wisely said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
Four Ways to Invest in Your Career:
1) Invest in your strengths. Weaknesses, we all have them. However, instead of focusing on your weaknesses, become aware of your natural gifts and strengths. Have people always told you that you have a natural talent for … leading? Communication? Sales? Consider how you will use your natural gifts to take the next step forward in your career.
2) Never stop learning. Constantly be researching industry trends in your profession. You can do this by researching LinkedIn, following the conversation among groups of industry leaders, joining associations of industry professionals, or looking at position descriptions in your chosen field. Knowing the industry trends is not enough. Challenge yourself to evaluate whether you are keeping up – do you have the necessary skills, education, certifications or expertise? If you see a gap, start developing a plan to close the gap.
3) Focus on the right relationships. Your professional network and support group should be individuals who inspire and teach you. They should be individuals who can help connect you to others who can help you on your professional journey. People you listen to are a preview of the future you. Are you surrounding yourself with people you aspire to be like?
4) Invest in your online brand. What will people find if they Google your name? Is it what you want them to find? You can start to address this by ensuring your social media accounts present you the way you want to be received.