I’m ready for that next step in my career but haven’t been good about networking. Any suggestions?
We all get busy with our daily lives and often forget about what we need to do for the future. Often times when people think about that next step, the focus is on a bigger title, but as recruiters we suggest you think about your career in a broader framework. Here are our suggestions:
- First and foremost, take the call. If a recruiter calls you, take the call. If a department leader wants to talk to you about doing something outside your current parameters, listen. If you are fortunate enough to have people pursuing you, take the time and build those relationships. Its easier to have them and not need them immediately versus trying to cultivate a meaningful network quickly.
- Be ready to step outside your comfort zone. This can mean different things to people, but relocation is a perfect example. People who are willing to relocate and go where opportunities are will be faster to propel their career than those candidates unwilling to pick up and move. In our business, the largest obstacle to finding talent is the lack of mobility. Unless you have a senior in high school or an ill parent, you might want to consider what a few years out of your current location may do for your long-term future.
- Laterals can be OK. Moving up the proverbial ladder is great, but moving laterally can improve your depth of experience, your understanding of the business model and more importantly, help you build “your brand” within a company. Visibility to a broader leadership and your willingness to step in where needed can also propel you forward. The key is to understand what the lateral can do for your personal development and the time frame for the assignment to make sure it aligns with your long-term goals.
- Keep Current. Make sure you are staying current with your resume, updating your accomplishments and impact. This is much easier to do every six months than waiting and trying to remember the metrics on projects you worked 18 months ago. Keep your certifications up and invest in your continued education, whether that is a class or going for that advanced degree. Being a continuous learner is always a good attribute.
- Realize that opportunities come in many forms and careers don’t all follow the same trajectory. Keep an eye on the path forward and an eye on the horizon so you can make sure you are thinking about the long term and not just the next title. It should serve you well.
We are always happy to help you through every step of the process, from determining what your career goals are to helping you reach them. Feel free to contact us!
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