With the rise of globalization, business professionals today need to deepen their skill set and broaden their knowledge to stay relevant in the workplace. All the more so, in today’s dismal work environments, workers who fail to adapt themselves to the ever-evolving business landscape risk being furloughed from their current positions.
But this begs the question: how can professionals step up their game, move ahead in their career, and distinguish themselves from other employees?
Recent developments in technology have been taking place at a breakneck speed. As a result, most industries are continually in a state of flux. The volatility of these recent developments makes it pretty challenging for professionals to keep up with the pace of industry standards. Nonetheless, it doesn’t imply that you can’t remain ahead of the curve and accomplish career goals.
Yet staying ahead of the pack isn’t as straightforward as merely wanting it. It requires plenty of hard work and sharp critical thinking skills to get an extra bump. So, let’s flesh out some of the career development tips that can help business professionals to stand out in their quest to gain a competitive edge and achieve milestones:
Pursue advanced education
The expression of lifelong learning may sound nerdy to some people. However, these lifelong learners are the ones who always stay ahead of the curve. By keeping themselves updated with the latest industry trends and practices, they can anticipate and prepare for impending advancements.
For this reason, professionals should consider advanced education to make headway in their career trajectory. However, before you settle on a post-graduate degree, you may want to determine if further education will be a fruitful investment for your career.
For instance, the benefits of a degree in MBA Finance could be immense if you are a finance professional. Besides the apparent advantage of intensifying career satisfaction and increasing earning potential, an MBA with a concentration in finance is one of the sought-after degrees. According to Monster.com[g1] , a global employment website, finance is an MBA-heavy field, meaning- the degree is a prerequisite even for entry-level positions.
Learn new skills
Upgrade your skills, figure out where you lack and fill those gaps. You can expand and hone your skill set by earning certifications, pursuing a micro-credential, engaging in volunteer work, or shadowing.
That said, do you possess critical traits and qualities that would make you stand out in the eyes of employers? Of course, you do. While it’s often easy to overlook skills that don’t center on your relevant field. However, these marketable skills are indispensable for any job role. These may encompass effective communication, analytical thinking, time management, and multitasking.
For instance, you might have worked in the food or retail industry, and people skills might be your strong suit. Therefore, enhance your CV with such skills along with other accomplishments. Although intangible, they are valuable for employers.
Go beyond expectations
Stepping out of the comfort zone, tackling new responsibilities, and going the extra mile can help business professionals make a splash.
When you go above and beyond in your workplace and don’t feel reluctant to take on new projects, you will most likely catch management’s eye and gain a competitive advantage. Not only this, but exceeding expectations can also help you witness swift advancements in your career.
So, take a look around your surroundings and ponder over aspects that other employees aren’t paying heed to and which wagons are still empty. And once you have figured it out, take the reins and lead the crowd.
The basic concept is to pick something usual and old that you already have and tweak it. Think outside the box, do something new and different, and take risks. In simple terms, you don’t necessarily have to be exceptionally brilliant to get creative. Instead, be practical.
A well-known saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know,” is partially true. While the right blend of education and experience is crucial, a strong network is equally important in the contemporary marketplace. The greater your professional circle, the more you can receive professional assistance, and the more people can vouch for you. Therefore, make yourself known – attend conferences and actively participate in professional associations.
Another best approach is to harness the power of social media. For instance, create a LinkedIn profile and connect with like-minded and experienced professionals from your field in the digital space.
And while you are at it, don’t miss the opportunity to connect with recruiters. These professionals can keep you in the loop about the opportunities that might never make it to the websites.
In a business environment full of uncertainties, one fact always remains constant. Business professionals must stay resilient, relevant, and innovative to stay ahead of the curve. And as discussed in the article, adapting, innovating, and being resilient don’t have to be a formidable task. However, it does require you to constantly invest in yourself – either pursue advanced education, develop new skills, or acquire relevant work experience. Therefore, seek personal and professional growth opportunities, refine your expertise in the existing domain and get prepared to showcase new skills.