6 Tips for Moving Your Career Forward

80 percent or more of your job search should be spent offline.

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Every November the National Career Development Association (NCDA) celebrates National Career Development Month. The theme this year is “My Career Dreams,” and participants are encouraged to establish, recognize, and pursue their dreams associated with their careers—whether it is what they want to be when they get older, the goals and aspirations they have for the future, or the steps they need to take to make their dreams a reality.

In honor of National Career Development Month, here are six secrets essential to helping you move your career forward:

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1. Be in control. In order to move forward in your career, it is important to recognize you are in control. This means you should manage your own career, because you are creating your future. If you are determined to get ahead in your career, eager to be acknowledged for your dedication, and interested in receiving better opportunities, it is up to you to make a move. It is time to be proactive!

2. Make goals. One of the best ways to better your career is to distinguish the goals you want to achieve. These can be short- or long-term goals. Regardless of whether it is something you want to accomplish today, next month, or in five years, it is important to write them down. It is easier to reach something if you believe it is attainable.

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3. Update your resume regularly. This cannot be stressed enough! It is so imperative to update your resume on a regular basis. You always want your resume to be current in case an opportunity arises. Another thing to consider is whether or not your resume reflects your personal brand. This is vital because your resume is not only an indication of you as an individual, but also of your career as a whole. 

4. Stay up-to-date. It is a good idea to always remain current with your career goals, resume, and most of all, the industry you’re in or interested in. By staying up-to-date with industry news, it can give you insight for your career. This might mean learning more about a certain product or technology, or even picking up on programming language that is significant to your industry. You want to be reliable and knowledgeable when it comes to the business you’re in. Try setting up Google Reader in order to follow blogs and news sources regarding your industry.

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5. Develop more skills. This goes hand-in-hand with the last secret. While staying up-to-date, it is good to develop the necessary skills for your career. If you stay current, then you will always know if you need to be learning new concepts. This could mean taking a class at a local community college, or even watching tutorials online. Whatever it may be, it is essential you are always educating yourself no matter how old (or young!) you are.

6. Network. This is a secret that should never be forgotten because you always want to be expanding your network. Many communities and cities hold networking events for different industries, so be on the lookout. Remember: 80 percent or more of your job search should be spent offline! So get off the job boards and get out there.

Do you have any secrets to help move your career forward? What are they?