Not everyone needs to be (or should be!) a nose-to-the-grindstone, I-find-worth-through-work sort of human. But for me, building a career + life I love, from scratch, on my own terms through my own hard work has brought me a level of confidence and comfort unlike anything else. Yes! Even more than the comfort I feel while eating carbs and watching Parks and Rec!Anyway. If you, too, someone who’s excited about their career here are eight grown ass things you can do to keep it in tip top shape. (You can download a free 27-page sample of The Post College Survival Kit with one article + one worksheet from each chapter here.)
1. Update your resume
When you’re gainfully employed, it’s easy to let your resume gather dust. But keeping it current and impressive is a great exercise in self-esteem and measuring how far you’ve come. Make things fancy with these resume templates.
2. Set up a LinkedIn account
What? Yes. I can hear you rolling your eyes from all the way over here but I know several people who have been headhunted off of LinkedIn. For exciting jobs that they’d never have thought to apply for! It can’t hurt and it’ll probably help. Also: are we friends on LinkedIn?
3. Google yourself and delete/hide/block accordingly
We’ve all posted questionable photos, written bad idea blog posts, or left less-than-awesome comments signed with our full name. Why not have a google and then delete as needed? And be a bit wiser from here on out? (I’m looking at you, 24-year-old self).
4. Think about where you want to be in five years
And if that feels overwhelming – where do you want to be three years from now? Give yourself the time and space to consider where you’d like your career to go. Do you want more money? More vacation time? Do you want to switch careers? Would you like to be self-employed? So many of us get caught up in the day-to-day, it’s hard to find the time for big picture imaginings. Five years from now, you’ll be glad you gave yourself this time to think about it.
5. Find a professional mentor
Being a mentor is, hands down, one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve made and, oh, how I’d like to find one of my own. It’s a bit hard to find a blogging mentor (because I’ve been doing for aaaages) but I’d love to find a super experienced writer or marketer or creative to take me under their wing. You too? Maybe we should check out this organization.
6. Learn a new, beneficial skill
Is it incredibly tempting to talk about how the cutie in accounting just broke up with his girlfriend? Or how you saw Betty in marketing out and hammered on Saturday? Of course it is! Is it kind or professional or a good idea? Of course it’s not. Next time you feel yourself getting drawn into gossip, pause.8. If you hate your job, do something about it
You will spend years of your life at work. It’s probably best if you don’t hate it, right? We can’t all have our dream jobs (and even dream jobs include conference calls and invoices) but you should at least have a job you don’t actively hate.
Talk to friends who have careers that interest you and find out how they got there, what they do, and what they like about it. If you know what field you’d like to work in, do some job shadowing and informational interviews. Look into education options. Figure out if you hate your career or just this specific job. And then take steps accordingly. While you’re doing that, know that you can love your life even if you hate your job.
Where are you at professionally? How do you feel about your job? What are you doing to better your career? Leave tips in the comments!
photo by s. charles // cc