1. Establish a brand for yourself.
People remember strong brands. Think about your favorite store or TV personality. You can quickly articulate who they are, why you love them, and what you go to them for. Get very clear on what you have to offer and then start building your brand. Who are you? Why do people love working with you? What do people always ask you for advice on? Identify these things and build a brand around it. If you do it well, people will start to think of you when they need your expertise. It will also make you much more marketable to employers.
2. Keep up with industry trends.
Make a habit of reading up on industry trends. Read the news, follow your competitors, and chat with colleagues about what’s happening in your field. It will help you plan your next move and figure out where you need to expand your skill sets.
3. Identify where you need to upskill.
If you want to stay relevant, you need to constantly add value to your brand. Figure out what skills and technology proficiencies you need to have in order to make your next move. Take classes, earn certifications, attend workshops, and pursue other professional development opportunities that will allow you to propel yourself forward strategically. What’s going to make you more marketable?
4. Become a strategic networker.
Understand who the key players are in your field, community, or company, and start building meaningful relationships with them. If you don’t get yourself out there, no one will be able to recognize your value. You can join professional groups, attend industry-related events, meet people working in your dream companies, find mentors, and so on.
5. Look ahead.
Think about your next step so you can be as strategic as possible with your efforts. Where do you want to be in a year? How about two? What about five? Think about your ideal career progression and plan accordingly so you don’t waste time on activities that won’t serve you.
Ready to get started? Check out Longwood University’s Professional Circles resource. It will help you meet a network of like-minded individuals as well as gain exclusive access to professional development opportunities.
If you need more help planning out your career so you can stay relevant, head over to career services at Longwood University and chat with a career coach. Both students and alumni are encouraged to leverage this resource. Check it out!