Position Yourself to Take Your Career to the Next Level!

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Have you felt stalled in your career? Do your co-workers seem to be gaining more responsibility than you? Or maybe you have heard of someone in the office who got a raise, and you are wondering when you can expect yours?

If you feel ready for a professional makeover to help others and yourself take your career more seriously, read on. The good news is that simply recognizing that change starts with you is half the battle won. Here’s what else you can do to show others you are serious about your professional development and are ready for greater things.

Take courses and look for ways to get certificates for your experiences.

Your classroom and lecture hall days might be behind you. But finding courses to take shows those who are watching that you are a person always looking to grow their skill set and expand their knowledge base. What should you study? Easy. Ask yourself what knowledge or information could best enhance your current work quality. If you do not know the answer to this, ask your boss. Your boss will not only be impressed with your initiative, but some companies also provide funding for certain types of study.

Dress and look the part. 

Personal grooming matters. Yes, you may have hoped to get by on your sharp wit and keen insights. But if others are too distracted by your 80s haircut, you could be labeled as “out of touch.” Even before you get a chance to wow them with that proposal you worked so hard on.

If you drive to work in an outdated clunker, you may need to also reconsider your vehicle. You want others to perceive you as a person whose opinion matters. Junk cars do nothing to enhance that look.

Brush up on your social etiquette.

Who has time for small talk anyway, right? Actually, social etiquette and small talk provides a valuable function in the workplace. Talking about the weather and adding a few niceties here and there can help coworkers feel more at ease with you. It is also a means of showing respect to others. Everyone is, after all, worthy of notice. The upside to all of this chattiness is that you will gain the respect of your peers and be deemed as likable. An important trait for someone who wants to get ahead.

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Network with the right people

Not all socializing is equal. Networking is what all the career development gurus tell us we should be doing. Why? The benefits are manifold. First, you learn how to introduce yourself in an attractive manner. Second, it is the perfect place to hone your communication skills. Last but not least, growing your professional network might not benefit you immediately. But a couple weeks or months down the line, some person knowing your name could be the difference between gaining an opportunity or losing it.

Invest in your health.

Eating well, incorporating exercise into your daily life, having good sleep habits… What does this have to do with career advancement? More than you might think. Each aspect of one’s health, if not taken care of, can negatively impact your work performance. When a person is sleep deprived, this directly impacts brain function and cognitive function.

Exercise helps relieve stress and recent studies point to an improvement in our mental acuity. For example, you can expect improved concentration and enhanced creativity because of your exercise routine. Plus, better retention of details and facts and more stamina to get through the day. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Wondering if there are any benefits aside from greater work output? A person who takes care of themselves is also a person who knows basic principles of time management and self-discipline. Two qualities that will make you more attractive to upper management and recruiters alike.


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