Welcome to 2024, everyone!
What an exciting time of year; we hope that you each feel refreshed, were able to soak up a bit of time off between Christmas and the New Year, and are ready to tackle this week with a blank slate and a sense of motivation. Whether engaging in a New Year ‘challenge’ like dry January or 75-hard, or simply tackling the challenge of returning to work after a break, this article is for you! There is no better time of year than Q1 to begin drafting goals and idealizing what you hope for your year. If your career is on your mind, then keep reading below to find out how to achieve advancement in 2024!
Engage and Utilize Your Network:
There is no greater resource to help you in advancing your career than your own social and professional networks. After all, your network is made up of people who are there to support you and may very well provide you with the bridge to obtaining or discovering new opportunities. One of the greatest ways to utilize your network is by hosting or participating in a professional gathering; no matter where you’re located, almost all urban cities host professionals through organizations that are open to the public for a minimal fee. Joining charities, extracurricular clubs, or other community-oriented organizations in your city is also a phenomenal way to meet like-minded individuals. Make sure to stay involved with young professionals around you to continue reaching a network of people beyond the scope of your company, role, or industry.
Advancing any aspect of your life often requires extending your level of education and knowledge. In doing so, contemplate your contentment with your current level of intelligence about your general career path, work obligations, title, role, or even education in general. Have you ever thought about obtaining a new certificate or degree? Potentially taking a few new business courses just for fun? Today, there are more resources than ever before (many offered by LinkedIn and Amazon) to help expand your knowledge and reach beyond your role… so take advantage of courses and activities you can accomplish even from the comfort of your own home! And remember, when you’re ultimately up against another candidate for a promotion or new position, small distinguishers like these could very well contribute to a favorable final decision.
If you don’t feel that your schedule will allow for enough free time to dedicate to education advancement, try shifting/creating a reading goal centered around self-improvement, subscribing to a relevant podcast or newsletter, or even adding your email to an industry-focused newsletter. Utilizing these types of consistent resources will help you to engage with current events relating to your profession and industry so as to ensure you’re well prepared for any impromptu formal/informal interview or conversation with leadership.
Do you have a mentor? Someone you look up to guide decisions, and career choices, and offer general advice? If not, now is the perfect time to designate someone to fulfill this role (formally or informally)! In identifying this person, take time to evaluate people within your workplace and life who you look up to as a positive influence and source of growth. If you’re struggling to identify this person, try reaching out to people who inspire you in an even more casual setting! Conducting informational interviews, coffee dates, or lunch meet-ups will help you expand your network and also designate people who may end up acting as unexpected mentors in the future! Remember, all networking conversations are valuable, regardless of the immediate outcome. Investing in these conversations and creating lasting relationships across your industry will only help you as you advance into new roles, companies and positions.
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