F.I.R.S.T. Institute Blog
Planning for Success: The Top 10 Things You Should Be Doing Now
There are basically two ways of getting paid in the business world: money and experience. You want to take on a career that will help bring you value in both. Planning for a successful career is something you should be doing as an ongoing task. There are some things you should be doing now for the career you hope to have someday.
10 Things You Should Be Doing Now for Your Future Career Success
Here are 10 things you can be working on now, on an ongoing basis, to help you secure and grow a successful career for yourself:
1. Establish Career Goals – Everyone has “non-negotiables” when it comes to jobs and careers. Some may be a little more important than others. Sit down and establish the goals you have for your future career. That way, you’ll already know just what it is you will and will not accept when job offers start coming your way.
2. Network Like You Get Paid for It – Attending networking events and networking online are things you should be doing now for your career. It’s one of the keys to success in the job market. The more people you know in your industry, the more informed you stay about industry news, updates, products, services, and job opportunities.
3. Learn Your Strengths and Weaknesses – Knowing the skills and knowledge that make you a valuable employee helps you sell yourself better. This comes in handy on job interviews, in proposals, and when trying to personally lure in potential clients. Also, learn to accept your weaknesses so you can focus on improving your skills, or hiring personnel or freelancers to get the job done for you.
4. Push Your Limits and Boundaries – Don’t limit yourself to only taking on tasks you’re comfortable performing. Step outside your comfort zone and tackle that special project, or give that presentation in front of the entire company. Pushing yourself to do things you’ve always shied away from is one of the ways to further your career later.
5. Join Professional Organizations – There are numerous organizations that can help you meet important people in your industry or the business world as a whole. You can join associations related to gender, geographical location, college or university, industry, likes, hobbies, etc… All of them can lead to invites to networking events, chances to connect with mentors, and new career opportunities.
6. Ask Others for Feedback – Try to get feedback from clients, peers, classmates, instructors, and bosses, as well as people who have worked for you, such as employees and freelancers. You can get feedback through email and online surveys or forms, after a presentation, during an office meeting, over cocktails after work, etc… Also, be prepared to accept constructive criticism, and use it as a tool to help you grow.
7. Update Online Profiles Regularly – Because recruiters and hiring managers conduct online searches on candidates, this is definitely one of the things you should be doing now for your career. Make sure your profile on LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, is always up to date. Be sure to add new skills as you learn them, especially if you’re trying to become a freelancer.
8. Conduct Your Own Reputation Management – Take the time to Google yourself to see what type of old baggage and dirt is out on the Web about you. No matter how old, these things can come back to bite you in the bottom during job hunts. This is especially true if you become an influential figure in your industry or a public figure of some sort.
9. Create Your Online Portfolio - Building your professional portfolio is one of the things you should be doing now, and continuously throughout your career. This will give you a place to showcase your best work online. For the best results, create your portfolio on your own website found at a professional URL, such as yourname.com. Also, diversify your portfolio by including a variety of work that will attract an assortment of clients and potential employers.
10. Go Back to School – There are many benefits to going back to school after you’ve already graduated. Two top reasons include updating innovative skills and learning new skills related to the same industry. Many employers offer incentives to employees for continuing their education. Even if yours doesn’t, learning more can earn you more by opening up more job opportunities based on knowledge and skills.
Interested in going back to school for another digital media degree? F.I.R.S.T. Institute of Orlando, FL offers three different types of programs for students. Check out the digital media programs at F.I.R.S.T. Institute, and get started planning for career success today!