Whether you are content at your current job, thinking about asking for a raise, or considering looking for a new position, it is always important to work towards improving yourself as a professional. While enhancing your professional self may seem like it can only be done over time, there are steps you can take each week to improve your prospects. Here are seven career-enhancing steps you can take every week.
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Make it a point to reconnect with people in your network and meet new people in your industry each week. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s neat “people you may know” feature to connect with old acquaintances or consider attending industry events to expand your network. It’s very true that when it comes to your career, oftentimes it’s not what you know but who you know, so by growing your network even just a little bit each week, your professional life will benefit.
Learn Something New
One of the best ways to improve your professional self is to learn something new. You can do this by volunteering to be on a project at work that it outside your comfort zone, taking a class that will either help you learn a new skill or update your current skill set, or reading a book related to your industry. By learning something new each week, you will make yourself more marketable to potential employers or to your current employer if you are thinking about asking for a raise. (See also: Why Women Don’t Get Raises.)
Assist a Coworker
Find a coworker who is working on a project that you aren’t on and offer to help. Or find a coworker who has a little too much on their plate and help him or her out. By building positive relationships with your coworkers, you will be well liked at work and you will have people to fall back on if you ever need references for a future position. (10 Ways to Save on Big-Ticket Items)
Keep Track of Accomplishments and Projects
Each week, be sure to keep track of the projects and tasks you worked on as well as any major accomplishments you had. By keeping track of everything you have done, you will have an easier time updating your resume for future job opportunities or convincing your boss to give you that raise you’ve been wanting for a while.
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Manage Your Social Media Accounts Appropriately
If you have a Facebook, make sure you haven’t been tagged in any inappropriate pictures or posts and that your friends haven’t left any inappropriate comments on your wall. If you have a LinkedIn, be sure you have responded to any connection requests people sent you, that you have updated your account to reflect your responsibilities at your current position, and that your status is somewhat recent. If you have a Twitter, make sure your “tweets” are appropriate and (if you work in marketing, public relations, advertising, or online community management) that your account is current.
Stay Up to Date On Industry News
Each week, do a Google search to find news of what is going on in your industry at least once. In order to be at the top of your game, it is important to know the latest trends, events, and news in your industry.
Look for New Opportunities
Even if you aren’t looking to leave your current job, it is always good to see what other opportunities are out there to get a sense of the job market and what people who have jobs similar to yours are earning. And who knows, you may even stumble across a job that you might actually be interested in or may be a better fit for you than your current position.