Do you feel stuck in your current job? If so, then here’s a quick list of 12 ideas for 2018 to help you stay invigorated in your professional life.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and résumé. According to a recent Gallup study, 51 percent of currently employed adults in the United States say they are searching for a new job or watching for new job opportunities. Regardless of whether that includes you, it is important to keep your résumé up-to-date. Make sure it’s two pages or less. Emphasize projects where you had a measurable impact on your organization. Continue to update your LinkedIn profile too; it’s the main destination for talent managers to scout for open positions. Use keywords that may help recruiters find you, and add to the summary of your profile to share new results you have achieved.
- Invest every day in your career. Think of investing in your career as if it was a 401(k) retirement account. Do just one thing — even if it only takes 15 minutes — every day. But do something. Your efforts will eventually help you achieve the goals you set.
- Consult with the people who matter to you. Career planning shouldn’t occur in a vacuum. Meet with your spouse or long-term partner on a regular basis — once a week for a dedicated hour — to talk about career plans, money and your health.
- Keep learning. If you want to accelerate your career growth, then you’ll need to fill up your well with new insights and information. Consider obtaining your MBA, or at the very least consume books and articles, watch videos, go to seminars, participate in webinars and meet with other communications professionals on a regular basis. A tip: PRSA always has an interesting variety of professional development events that will help you engage with, and learn more about, your profession.
- Network outside your company. Learn more about a specific area such as content marketing or big data by attending a local Meetup If you don’t see a Meetup meeting on a topic that you’d like to know more about, then start one yourself.
- Network inside your company. Whether your job is with a small organization or Fortune 500 company, you probably work with fascinating, intelligent people. Considering taking a coworker out for a cup of coffee to learn about them, their work, their views on the company and their career goals.
- Volunteer. Volunteering is an excellent way to gather new skills and experiences that you might not get in the for-profit world. For example, I have served on the board of directors for three different nonprofits, which has given me a taste of how boards oversee the management of an organization. Opportunities abound: Look to your local PRSA Chapter, your faith community, your local school district or a nonprofit representing an issue about which you are very passionate (such as protecting wilderness areas or building bike trails) and get involved.
- Mentor others. Contact the college or university that you attended, or the college nearest your office, and offer to mentor a student in your profession. Although you may have more experience than that student, you can also gain fresh insights from them, such as how they communicate with their peers using the latest technology.
- Enter an awards competition. Regardless of the profession, there are always opportunities to showcase the work you do. For example, PRSA offers the Silver Anvils and the Bronze Anvils. Creating and submitting an award entry is a great way to compare your work to that of other professionals. The process will help you better understand how you match up against the competition.
- Seek a professional designation. PRSA offers an Accreditation process to achieve a designation certifying your mastery of professional standards. Earning your APR can lead to learning opportunities and elevate your standing within your profession.
- Promote your expertise. Look for opportunities to experiment with getting your work out into the world. For example, look up examples of white papers online and write and share your own on LinkedIn, or try your hand at writing a blog post on Medium. If you’re feeling up to it, then maybe even consider pitching a story to an online publication or website.
- Be grateful. Every day after you wake up and have your coffee, grab a spiral notebook and write down three things you’re grateful for. Expressing gratitude on a daily basis helps us see and appreciate everything in our lives. Sometimes we don’t need more; we just need to appreciate what we have.
© Stephen Dupont, 2017
Stephen Dupont, APR, is vice president of public relations and branded content for Pocket Hercules (www.pockethercules.com), a brand-marketing firm based in Minneapolis. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his blog at www.stephendupont.co. Dupont’s webinar, “How to Ignite (or Re-ignite) Your Career” — is available for free, on demand, for PRSA members. Click here to learn more.