You’ve gotten your first “real” job after college, so you should be all set — right? Not really. The days of settling in and building a long-term career at one company are a generation or two behind you.
Today, professionals must have a more entrepreneurial mindset to ensure success. Begin early to add to your skills and build your brand, so that you will always be in demand and not subject to the whims of the economy.
Keep up with developments in your industry through conferences, publications and trainings. You will be astonished how quickly your education becomes dated. Social media and continuing education are also great resources to keep your skills and knowledge fresh.
Learn the Ropes
Learn everything you can from your current job. There are no better resources available to you than those your job provides. Study the structure of your company. Learn what different departments are responsible for and who runs each business unit. Study your competitors to understand what they may be doing better than your company and where they may fall short.
Broaden your Involvement
Don’t hesitate to let your manager know your ambitions. Ask what the projected career path is for someone in your position. Seek out the advice of more seasoned co-workers. Learn what makes them successful and what to avoid. Make yourself useful. Find ways to contribute in any way that you can. Volunteer for cross-training.
Look for Networking Opportunities
Participate in afterhours events – not just to socialize – but to get to know people in the company you might not otherwise meet. Seek out executives, talk to people from other departments. Ask thoughtful questions that will help you to better understand the company and the industry.
Roll with the Punches
Your career is unlikely to remain a straight line. Be open to any changes or opportunities that come along. That might mean getting out of your comfort zone, but it’s the only way to stretch your limits.
Make your Move
When you are ready to make the next leap forward in your career, you will be ready. But what’s the right move for you? Should you try for a promotion within your current company? Should you reach for the next rung at another company? Accept a lateral move at your dream company with hopes of moving up internally? Have you discovered that your current career choice was a poor fit and you’re ready to try something new?
Contact the experts at Select Group, Inc. We can help you to consider all of your career options and put a career strategy in place to plan for your future.