Ever had one of “those moments” when you realize that you are simply doing a job that is far removed from the career aspirations that you had when you first set out? Well, you’re not alone, since more than 40% of the working millennials and baby boomers today have had a transition phase at least once in their careers. Several studies indicate that more often than not, the choices that they make in their career are more by chance than by choice, with sufficient data pointing to the fact that most professionals who have entered the workforce after the turn of the last century have taken career decisions and made their choices rather sporadically and far in between, rather than following a consistent theming or pattern towards an established goal.
While there are hundreds of resources stating the obvious tips and tricks that you can, implement from time to time, there are a few that you need to follow that will get you ahead. Here are the top ten Career Growth Strategies for 2016, according to several industry experts and top researchers globally: These have been broken down into: a. resume strategies, b. people strategies and c. Training and Skill Enhancement Strategies for easy reference-
Skill Enhancement Strategies– Continuous learning and skills enhancement are an absolute must do for professionals in today’s fast paced world, regardless of the industry and the sector they are in. Several recent studies have shown that generalist talent is given the utmost priority in appointments to leadership positions. To prepare, one should choose the right mix of communication training, soft skills and technical skills certifications. Upskilling of one’s technical proficiency is also important- especially in the constant flux of management and technology models today. Therefore, the important strategies in skill enhancement are:
- Proficiency in Latest Technology Resources– The corporate world of today is constantly churning out new technologies and business processes. Increased automation in different domains as well as new and innovative business management models are being adopted and discarded like never before. In this scenario it is vital to be in the know of the latest technology trends, models and business processes to even be at par with the industry standards.
- Proficiency in Verbal and Written Communication– This is by far the most important component of any successful professional. According to several thought leaders, this MUST be the most important non-vocational skill that one possesses in order to move into senior level positions in the corporate world. Cross cultural communication, public speaking and other similar personality development skills are also assuming importance and cannot be ignored. If you’re not confident about your communication skills, it is imperative, therefore, to obtain further advanced level training and preferably, a certification, for the same.
- Industry Relevant Certification – Online Social Networking, Collaboration and media have made it possible for one to pursue advanced level of education and training in their desired domains. In fact, an advanced certification from a premier institute is increasingly becoming a must-have in a serious professional’s profile.
People Strategies – For professional growth, making oneself known within industry peers is still the best way to go, by far. In fact, as has been noted by several career development forums and associations, effective professional networking still amounts for more than 85% of all senior level hires across industries. While an online networking presence is essential in today’s digital world, the old fashioned way of face to face, physical networking is still king and a lot of the . A few pointers for effective People Management Strategies are:
- Make Your Presence Felt – Attending a professional event, such as an industry association meeting, a trade fair, various conferences and seminars are crucial to growing your professional network. When attending such event, the essentials include dressing sharp and maintaining a pleasant appearance, taking the initiative to communicate with others proactively, being genuinely interested in the work that other people do and clearly communicating what one has to offer.
- Always, ALWAYS Follow Up – Most people ignore this very important factor. Following up with a professional contact and maintaining constant communication is as important as establishing the first communication instance. Strategies include sending a thank you note, conveying best wishes and following on social media.
- Don’t Discriminate– When attending a networking event, try to reach out to as many people as possible. In fact, more referrals are found from unexpected sources such as event guest speakers, professors and even friends than by typical colleagues in the workplace.
- Set Personal and Measurable Goals – Instead of having a very broad and abstract goal such as “networking effectively”, it important to drill it down to clear and tangible targets. Having a number to aim for, such as a number of new contacts to be established at a networking event or the number of business cards to be handed out within a particular time has proven to be a much more effective performance strategy.
Resume Strategies– In spite of online professional networking sites like linkedin.com and branchout.com, the resume document is still invaluable for your job search and career growth.
Some of the recent trends involve the use of the following strategies to garner increased views and engage the reader –
- The use of infographics, hyperlinks, graphs and charts.
- Storytelling structure on the CV with strategically placed testimonials and punchlines
- Consistent branding and Search Optimization for Increased Visibility in Job Portal searches by recruiters
Want to get ahead in your career? What are the strategies that you think will help you make the next big leap in your career? Talentedge, India’s leading online education platform has recently launched AskPro, a unique, one-of-its-kind advisory service in collaboration with SHRM, the global human resources forum. This free resource enables professionals and executives to post their career related queries and have them answered by the best minds in HR. Expert career advisory is now at your fingertips!