May - The Month to GROW
By Cecelia Bocker
Spring is a time for growth and new opportunities. In keeping with the season, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you grow professionally and truly blossom into the successful business person you're meant to be.
- Take an honest look at yourself and your resume – You can’t enhance yourself until you know where you need improvement, so be honest about what your strengths and weaknesses are. The ability to find these characteristics in yourself is also a sign of confidence and professionalism.
- Brush up on the skills you determined you need to work on – This could be as simple as watching a YouTube tutorial of how to use the latest technology in your field, or you could go as far as taking classes and workshops to really amp up your skills. The choice is entirely yours, the only wrong thing to do is making the choice to not bother staying up to date.
- Take a class or workshop to learn a NEW skill – You can never stop learning! A new skill will always be a positive add-on to a resume. We’re not just talking about hard skills such as speaking another language, understanding how to use certain programs or typing speed, soft skills are also vital in business nowadays. Soft skills include communication, the ability to solve conflicts, public speaking and time management.
- Volunteer – In addition to skills and work experience, your interests and volunteering are also important parts of your resume. They help to give a well-rounded picture of who you are. Find a cause you’re interested in and find out about volunteer opportunities near you. This will also give you something to speak about in interviews when you are asked “what do you do in your free time”.
- Attend an event and network – You should always be looking for chances to expand your network of business connections. We say this for many reasons, but the top two are to help build your interpersonal skills and so you do not just associate with people in your field. It’s interesting to talk to people from other places about what they do for work, you might learn something or develop a new interest you might not have thought about before.
- Make time for yourself – It’s common knowledge that our mental health and emotions can affect our physical health and work performance. If you’re a “workaholic”, take some time to relax and step back from the stress and hustle of work, no matter how hard it is. Don’t burn yourself out by being constantly focused on work, if you’re happy in your personal life, chances are you’ll be a happier employee/supervisor at work.
- Ask for advice/constructive criticism from supervisors – Asking how you can improve or what else you can do to contribute to your department is a great way to stand out from your coworkers. You approaching a manager and asking for their advice as opposed to them approaching you means you took the initiative. This, and being driven, are two main factors in an important life skill that is highly valued in business. That skill is leadership.
- Subscribe to a newsletter or blog that relates to your industry – Online newsletters and blogs are great ways to stay up to date about trends and advancements in your field. They serve as an additional channel outside of your usual network where you can get information and brainstorm new ideas.
- Read – Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet are among the world’s most successful people. Something they all have in common is reading. They are all avid readers who attribute a lot of their success and brilliant ideas to books. Many people say they do not like reading, but once you find something to read about that interests you, we guarantee you’ll love it. You don’t have to strictly read business books or the New York Times; studies show reading in general improves brain function, creativity, and memory.
- Find a Mentor – You don’t have to find someone that’s a CEO of a giant company or have scheduled weekly business meetings with them. This person can be someone you know personally, or are even related to, as long as they are someone in your field that you admire. Ask them if they would mind mentoring you or if you occasionally got together to discuss your future in the industry. This person will be someone who can give advice, connect you with other successful people or answer questions you might have about your career path in general.
While these tips are a great place to start if you’re looking to further your career or boost your resume, we know there is not one true path to success and some tips may work for one person but not another. If any of these tips help you, let us know! If you think we missed an idea that works for you, leave us a comment and tell us about it!
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