by Rashida Maples, Esq.
Special to the NNPA from The Chicago Defender
Complacency in the workforce should be avoided at all costs. Though some employees tend to settle into a work routine that is predictable and on cruise control, those who set short term and long term goals know that advancement in their career has to be thought out, planned and properly implemented to make it to the next level.
If we are going to spend so much time seeking work, at work, doing work and/or thinking about work, we should strive to make this whole employment thing beneficial for us via positive matriculation through the ranks with our employers, and also obtaining and maintaining clients and wealth as entrepreneurs as well.
If you are seeking to further your career, no matter what stage you are in, here are five tips to implement into your everyday work life to do so:
1. Sit With Your Vision and Make a Plan
If you are seeking to make a return to the workforce, coveting the corner office along with a promotion and a raise, or even thinking about making a move to another company or a different industry from which you are currently working in, writing down your vision and making a plan will kick start the road to achieving your goals. You can’t keep your dreams bottled up without acting on them, therefore you should write them down and get to moving.
I prefer networking in an organic fashion. Meeting people at a barbecue, wedding, conference and just letting the conversation flow until we realize we may be an asset to and for one another and acting on that has worked wonders for me. Even if you prefer the standard networking tactics of attending receptions and conferences, with the strict goal of networking with potential clients and employers, this angle continues to serve as a great way to broaden your network for future work related considerations.
3. Know Your Worth
Even if you are not looking to make a move, continue to apply for new positions and interview so you know what the going rate is for people with your experience and background. Understanding where you are in your career, and how other employers view you as a contribution to their company may give you insight into how/if you need to make any adjustments.
If your employer, client or local not-for-profit organization is seeking assistance, offer it. As long as you are not overextending yourself, or spreading yourself far too thin, putting your name out there will allow others to see what you have to offer and may open doors you never knew existed.
5. Revisit Your Education
This includes going to back to school to finish your undergrad degree, taking a few courses at your community college, or taking continuing education course in your particular field. As long as you can make yourself more marketable by acquiring new skill sets and knowledge, then by all means, do so !
6. Get a Mentor or Coach
There is nothing like listening to wisdom. This holds true in the workforce as well. Some ropes you should skip, and some ropes you should know in order to be both effective and efficient in matriculating through your career. Having access to someone who has been in your shoes and can help guide you to the next phase will work wonders for goals.
If you want more responsibilities on your job, then just ask for it. Proving to your boss that you can effectively handle new jobs and responsibilities in the workplace will definitely set you on a path to more recognition and eventually more opportunities.