Knowing how to start making a difference to your career

career resolutions, new years resolutionDuring a recent webinar that I hosted 33% of attendees said that they didn’t proactively work on their career because either they didn’t know where to start or it was too hard to get the help they need.

Does this resonate?

Proactively managing your career doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. I believe that there three important guiding principles to manage your career well:

  • Making time.
  • Small steps make all the difference
  • Review what you are doing and progress regularly.

When it comes to dedicating time to managing your career, 15-30 minutes each week can start making a difference. In that time each week, here are five small steps that you can do to make all the difference

Review your LinkedIn profile

Check it looks positive and up-to date. This is your professional shop window to the world – what do you want people to see/know about you?

Check you are connected

Once your LinkedIn profile is in shape, connect with people you have worked with – colleagues, clients and other connections. Always write a note to new connections. Top tip: draft something in a document that you can copy and paste in, adding some personalisation.

The search function makes it very easy to find someone you need to even if you have forgotten their name. Just adding three people a week is 78 in 6 months.

Consider key people in your organisation who don’t know you or not very well. Reflect on how you could increase your exposure to them to improve your career prospects, this article explains why this matters. Pick those who are key decision makers or who you think have influence. This can be more tricky while working from home so this article gives you some ideas on how to do this.

Build your external network

This can be extremely helpful for having a sounding board, to learn and to hear of career opportunities. If you are part of a professional body, see what events they are running (many are running them online, I know as I am speaking at them!). If there is no obvious professional body, ask trusted colleagues if they attend any good networking groups. Even if you just attend one a quarter, it is a start.

Update your CV

It’s a lot easier to talk meaningfully about work you have done soon afterwards, rather than 3 years later! Not having an up-to-date CV is one of the main reasons people don’t apply for new opportunities which come up. It feels like a big effort in a short timeframe, if your CV is 90% up-to-date, this isn’t an issue.

In terms of getting help, yes you can get tailored individual support from working with me but reading books, articles and talking to your colleagues all help too. Remember it is about small steps regularly.

If you want to read more on key skills that are essential for career progression, but which are often neglected, download my Nine Skills for career success – a short email series and eBooklet which will support you with identifying your potential gaps and to work on your career development. You can request it here.

Watch the playback of my webinar for We Are The City here: Career Management: Why and how to be proactive about your career.

About the author

Joanna GaudoinJoanna Gaudoin, Inside Out Image ( specialises in helping ambitious professionals and their organisations improve performance and achieve their goals.

She does this by helping them master and strategically use the business skills of Personal Impact and Relationship Management. These skills are required for professional success.

Before establishing Inside Out Image, Joanna worked in marketing and consultancy in large corporates. She understands the business world and its challenges. She now helps organisations and individuals understand how to succeed in it.

If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTheCity has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here

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