The New Year has begun, and you intend to climb up the next step on the career ladder? This could involve a job change, positioning yourself as a technical expert in your field, or a promotion in your current job. I’ve put together 4 career tips that can help you with this.
1. Set SMART goals
If you know that you want to take the next step in your career, define it in specific terms. Ask yourself where you want to be in the next few months: Do you want to stay in your current position, or are you looking for a new challenge? It’s best to define your new goal according to the SMART principle:
Formulate your goal in first person, in a positive tone and in the present tense. For example, a goal could be: By the end of the year, I will apply to 15 companies and get two suitable job offers. Record your goals in writing using this method. Just having them in your head is not enough. The more specifically and accurately you define your goals, the clearer your path will be to achieve them.
Once you have set your new goals, you can start to think about who could help you achieve your goals. Use your network for this step and expand it:Internal
If you want to make an internal career jump with your current employer, then plan this out. Do you need internal advocates for your promotion? Do you have a good relationship with other managers? Do you have a mentor? Can you count on any support from the Human Resources Department for your further development? Take advantage of lunchtime breaks to meet and exchange information with the persons you’ve named – build your internal network and present yourself! Also, you should carry your expertise outside: For example, are there any flagship projects that you are leading and achieving success with? If so, who knows about them except your department? Are there any opportunities to present these successes more prominently throughout the company? In an article on the intranet or at inter-departmental meetings, for example? Do you have the opportunity to position yourself in the company outside your area of responsibility? For example, for the next corporate event, you can take on part of its organization, or you can participate in other initiatives. That way, you also present yourself to colleagues with whom you would otherwise not work with, take responsibility for other projects and build your internal network.External
What events, fairs or congresses are out there at which you could establish new contacts? For example, recruiting events for IT experts and engineers take place in several cities in Germany. These are venues at which companies from the sector present themselves and search for new candidates on-site. Conventions are also good places to exchange ideas with other technical experts or find out about other interesting companies.
Take advantage of Stammtisch discussion tables, MeetUps and network meetings! Many events are announced on XING, sign up for these and share your participation on your professional social platforms. Oftentimes, you will be contacted in advance by other participants or you can contact them and ask them about their experiences at the network meetings. And right there, you’ve already started talking. And to position yourself as an expert, you can take the opportunity to be a speaker or an active discussion partner at such events, so you can make a name for yourself and position yourself more and more. The MeetUp format is also a great idea for an uncomplicated way to network. Here, you can sign up for any topic you are interested in, from code programming to yoga. Have you found a professional topic that appeals to you and can continue to position you as a technical expert? Then pursue the opportunity and attend meetings to exchange ideas and network. Do not forget your business card, or connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn or XING right after the meetings.
Your external network can be important to your career in the long term. So start building and maintaining a professional network in addition to your private one.
3. Profile in social media
The fastest way to network is via social networking such as XING or LinkedIn. Remember that the first impression counts – do you want to leave a professional, credible and competent impression of yourself? Then show this on your photo as well. Invest some money in a photographer who can put you in the right light.
Enter any relevant information – what companies have you worked at and what experience have you already gained? What were your responsibilities? What skills do you possess? What are your strengths? Which programs and technologies have you worked with? Check your online profiles on XING, LinkedIn and other platforms and compare them to the profiles of people who have already made it to where you want to be. What skills do you already have that fit the new job, for example? Highlight these. Also share articles on a topic that you would like prove yourself to be an expert in.
If you want to change to another sector, highlight any experience you’ve already gained. Are there any recent posts from your contacts, such as job vacancies with their employers? Check also if your contacts are perhaps networked with interesting people who could help you reach your goals. Then just ask if he or she can introduce you to this person. Seek out interesting groups with members who could also help you, join these groups and actively participate in discussions.
4. Blog posts
What you happen to be reading is a technical article by a guest author. Do you have topics on which you could make a valuable contribution? Search for appropriate blogs, online magazines or ask directly on websites to which you can apply as a guest author. You can also build your own blog and report on your expertise, or you can use LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a great functionality which allows you to publish your own articles.
I wish you every success in your 2019 career jump!