Here are 3 Ways To Catapult Your Career Today

You have more power over your career path than you might realize—here’s how take better control of your professional destiny in 2022.

By William Arruda

Looking for a more rewarding career path? You’re definitely not the only one, so make sure you stand out from the crowd. You don’t have to do anything drastic, though: Making just a few deliberate changes daily can add up over time. Ultimately, you’ll show your team you’re a true professional—not to mention a valuable asset.

It’s like studying a little each day for a big test rather than trying to cram the night before. (After all, late-night Hail Marys rarely produce the same level of result as long-term work.) If you’ve spent effort building your personal brand attribute of irreplaceable, you’ll enjoy top-of-mind status when it comes to title and salary promotions. On the other hand, if you haven’t taken steps toward differentiating yourself as an employee, you may be overlooked in favor of other, shinier prospects who seem to have more affinity for the corporate ladder.

Before you start debating whether to give up your sleep or social life in pursuit of this goal, take a breath: You don’t need to give up your personal life to show you’re ready for a spot at the top. Quite the opposite, in fact. When you bake the following strategies into your everyday routine, you’ll find success without requiring massive time commitments.

1. Make upskilling your mantra.

Research from the World Economic Forum suggests that about half of the global workforce will need to retrain by 2025 in order to stay relevant. Regardless of whether you’re already feeling the “I need more skills” pinch, it’s time to start looking for opportunities to upskill.

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Asking your employer about upcoming workshops or classes is a good beginning, but you also can take your initiative one step further by anticipating the knowledge you’ll one day need and seeking out training online. As noted by Jennifer Dixson Hoff, president of Colibri Real Estate, it’s easier than ever to access learning opportunities to close any skills gaps. Hoff recommends signing up for self-paced online courses and attending livestreamed events.

Don’t know where to start? Hoff says to utilize your existing network. “Connect with your peers and find out which skills they’re focusing on for continuous learning and professional development,” she says. By crowdsourcing your training decisions, you ensure that you’re on the right track when it comes to picking and choosing programs, classes, certifications, degrees, or lectures to beef up your résumé. Better yet, buddy up with a colleague when you take the class. That way, you can network and upskill at the same time.

2. Give your personal brand a makeover.

Now more than ever, people will gauge your readiness for career-based advancement based on what they find when they google you. Make 2022 the year that you unearth your authentic brand traits. And then you can start renovating your outdated LinkedIn profile and taking down those sketchy college-years images from Facebook and Instagram.

If you’re eager to really own your personal branding and take it up a notch or two, add videos to your digital presence. Videos get you out there while conveying a complete message. Feel free to add expert videos to your social media pages, personal website (if you have one), or YouTube channel. You may even want to look for chances to deliver keynotes, breakouts, or panel discussions at offline and online conferences. Frequently, those events are taped, so you can either get a copy to share or drive followers to the video with a link.

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3. Seek out a mentor.

A couple of years ago, about three-quarters of people who took an Olivet Nazarene University poll ranked mentorship as important. Yet only 37% of survey participants actually had one. That’s a shame, especially since a similar poll from CNBC noted that 9 in 10 people in a mentor-mentee relationship were satisfied occupationally.

If you think it might be tough to find someone who wants to be your mentor, remember to offer them something of value in return, whether it’s the market insight of someone from your age range or the promise to pay it forward when you’re in a position to mentor. Start within your company. Some organizations’ leaders will be willing to set up formal or informal mentorship programs to help their employees receive professional coaching, get primed for future leadership roles, and soak up new skills. If you can’t get a corporate-supported mentorship off the ground, go the “boots on the street” route.

Look at the people in your network. Could any of them be the mentor you’ve been missing? No? That’s OK: Tell professionals you know that you want to be mentored. Ideally, your mentor should be someone who can provide you with insights, support, and advice at regular intervals, and you should be ready with specific questions and goals. Your mentor doesn’t have to be in your industry, either. Getting different perspectives from people who’ve made careers outside your “world” can help you become a more well-rounded (and more indispensable) employee.

Reaching success means something different to every person. Name the success you want to achieve. Then, remind yourself every morning that you have another 24 hours to turn those dreams into reality. You’re the CEO of your own career. It’s time to activate that power.

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