Even if it’s been many moons since you donned a mortarboard, I encourage you to capitalize on the fresh start energy of the graduation season by taking an objective look at your career. Are you where you want to be? Feeling challenged? Fulfilled? Or are you ready for your own work-related graduation?
Graduation for you might mean moving up and out of your current job or career, or progressing to new levels of competence, confidence and commitment within the job you’ve already got. Whichever is true for you, it’s important to follow your gut and take action towards hitting the ‘refresh’ button if you need it. Here are 5 tips that can help:
1. Update your Resume/ LinkedIn. There’s tremendous power in having a resume that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice, as well as a LinkedIn profile that’s fully fleshed out and current – even if you don’t plan on leaving your job any time soon. The update process can help you take stock of what you do and do well, and, as a result, you’ll have a renewed level of confidence that’s beneficial whether you stay in your current job or decide to start interviewing.
2. Strengthen Your Network. If you haven’t connected in a while, touch base with former bosses and co-workers, satisfied customers, colleagues from trade or volunteer organizations – anyone you consider to be a part of your network. Authentically reaching out on a regular basis (as opposed to only when you need something) will help create a reliable source of support and reference – especially if you decide to make a job or career change.
3. Count Your Successes. Focusing on your hits rather than misses can give you a more positive attitude on the job, which in turn, can breed more overall success at work. Keith Harrell, author of Attitude Is Everything, says a positive attitude goes a long way in helping to improve communication, teamwork, morale, as well as productivity on the job.
4. Think Like An Entrepreneur. Even if you don’t have your own business, approaching your work with an entrepreneurial spirit can lead to greater job satisfaction, according to Reid Hoffmann and Ben Casnocha, authors of The Start-Up of You. Hoffman and Casnocha’s prescription for success is to approach every job, as well as your whole life, with an entrepreneurial mindset – being relentlessly curious and continuously challenging yourself to learn, grow and problem-solve – as entrepreneurs must routinely do. If you need a reboot at work, I encourage you to be curious and seek out challenge. Within the challenges you’ll find opportunity.
5. Promote Yourself. Many of my coaching clients fear they’ll be seen as braggarts if they promote themselves at work – but letting managers and colleagues know your accomplishments, with humble confidence, can open up new doors and plant seeds for future success in your organization. You are your own best PR agent!
Graduation season is a time to appreciate the past and all you’ve learned…and then move forward. If you’re looking for more challenge, responsibility or recognition at work, I encourage you to put the strategies above to work. They can help you graduate to a new level of satisfaction, confidence and success on the job.