If you’re feeling stuck in a rut or ready to take on a higher position in your current career, we’re sharing a mighty list of tips and tricks to help you boost your career prospects in just a few months.
CV-Library found that in 2018, 56% of people in the UK were unsatisfied in their career, so if you’re looking to switch roles altogether, you’re not alone!
Use these tips to see how far you can get.
Ask for new challenges
Those looking to boost their career prospects can start the process close to home: At their current workplace. If you’ve already done research into a second career and know what skills you need to work on or simply want to be considered for a promotion at your current company, taking on new responsibilities is the perfect place to start.
Speak to your manager about additional work and new challenges you can take on. There might be internal opportunities or voluntary development courses you can take to better your chances. It might take your manager a few weeks to find some new work, but don’t give up. Keep following up to remind them that this isn’t a phase, and you’re keen to help.
For people who are looking for more senior or management roles, you’ll inevitably need experience – which can be pretty hard to gain while also doing your current job. However, think outside the box: There are plenty of social committees, events, or behind-the-scenes projects you could take on to show your value.
Take up volunteering
Volunteering is particularly good if you’re looking for a total career change, as without experience, you’ll struggle to find someone to hire you.
Community groups, charities, and even understaffed businesses are always keen for extra help, and you could be the answer.
Being a volunteer gives you the opportunity to show your willingness to learn new things, develop new skills and gain valuable experience. It’s also a great way to show new employers that you’re serious about your career – so serious you’ll go out of your way to do the work for free (though only temporarily…).
There are groups and charities for just about any profession or industry. Those interested in law can join a legal aid charity; people wanting to go into leadership can join a debate team, and anyone interested in care or nursing can volunteer in rehab, hospitals, and even the local police station.
Gaining new qualifications can certainly give your career a push in the right direction and might open doors to bigger and better opportunities.
Taking on a new qualification should be first thought about properly, as it will likely come with some kind of financial and time commitment. But if you think you’ve got what it takes, there are plenty of options to take an online masters degree UK – and as the work and learning are all done online, you’ll be able to study from anywhere at your own pace.
Studying online can be done part-time, which means you can start implementing your new skills instantly. If you’re staying within the same industry but want to boost your prospects for more senior positions, your workplace might even be able to offer financial support for your education. Usually, this comes with a contract or condition in which you agree to stay at the company after you graduate. But this can also often come with a salary increase – it’s a win-win!
Time and time again, we’re told the importance of networking. And while we’ve all likely got ourselves a LinkedIn account and scroll through our feeds from time to time, we’re not really taking advantage of the connections we have.
Networking is a great tool for future career prospects. You can learn about other people currently working in your dream position or make contact with managers of your favorite brands. All of this will help you find the perfect role in the perfect company when you’re ready to take the plunge.
Most cities offer in-person networking events, too – so you don’t have to just sit behind a screen to connect with valuable people. Make sure to ask plenty of questions, visit events specific to your industry, and always have a business card to hand. Going out of your way to meet people will lead to you benefitting in the long run. Make a lasting impression by following up with a text or email after the event too.
Find work shadowing opportunities
Before diving into a new role, gaining an insider’s view of the day-to-day work could really help you feel more certain about your choice. Alternatively, it might make you realize the job is absolutely not for you…
Work shadowing is a great way to understand more about the role you want to get into. You’ll spend a few hours, days, or a week following and learning about the job. If you’re looking to boost your chances of promotion, you might be able to take a few days to work shadow your manager. Alternatively, if you’re looking to change careers, there’s no harm in emailing a few businesses in your local area to see if they are open to shadowing opportunities.
Shadowing will also give you a chance to make a good impression on any potential employers, as the way you handle yourself while on-site will show how prepared and equipped you are for the role. So, if the time comes where you apply for a position at their company, you’ll already have a head start.
Research the industry
Keeping up to date with current news in your industry will help you stay informed. And having knowledge on your side will make you incredibly valuable in terms of employability. There might also be a number of essential reads or recommended books by experts in your field that are worth looking into. The more knowledge and understanding you can gain, the better equipped you’ll be to land your dream role.
Take the plunge
Once you’ve researched the role, taken on volunteering or shadowing, and found the right contacts, all that’s left to do is take the plunge and get applying!