Professions, Tips and Tricks

7 Tips for Career Building

When you’re a successful professional, it feeds your confidence and self-belief – especially when your success is recognized by those around you. You feel more secure through your accomplishments which then drive you to do more. For many people that have started from a low base and have built a successful career, believe their success has had a knock-on effect in other areas of their lives.

Leaders in this field recommend that you apply a mix of proven habits, strategies, systems or activities that suit your needs and personality type. Half the work has been done for you by these leaders who have perfected the art, allowing you to plot your roadmap to success. Social media and YouTube in particular have opened a visual world of influence and opportunity to us all. The trick to upping your chances of success is to find, follow and model your goals by those your admire and respect. These leaders have done the hard yards, and have perfected strategies. When applied consistently and with purpose, they can give you the additional skills and confidence you need to reach your goals.

Below are 7 strategies that when applied, can help you to improve your career and meet your goals

1. Identify with Your Goals.

Before you decide on what career to embark on, you should get to know yourself first. Most people go through life following a non-eventful, boring and well-established routine. The reality is that they are flat-lining! They get up each day without a plan. They go to a job they don’t like. They are frustrated with their job and life. You cannot drive a car, pilot a plane or captain a ship without plotting a course. You need to take the time to think about your strengths and what you are passionate about. Then explore how these traits can help you find the right career or give you direction in possibility to start a business where you do something you love.

Start by writing down what you are good at. Then see where and how you can apply these skills and abilities in a way for you to earn money. It’s important that it’s something you love doing or are passionate about. Take your time when brainstorming this and decide wisely. It’s important that your inner desires and rational goals are connected. These need to be aligned to ensure you have a fulfilled professional life. Identifying with your goals takes time and effort, but it’s vitally important in the process of a person’s  journey to be successful and happy in your career.

2. Write a Professional Resume/CV.

Your resume tells a story to the reader, that being your potential boss! Place yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you would be impressed at what you were reading. Always submit a covering letter that talks to the position you are applying for. It’s your opportunity to say why you would be the ideal candidate for the position. It also gives the reader an opportunity to sense your personality. Be real, confident – but not too confident. It’s worth your while to get assistance in writing this letter as it’s the first impression you emit, and let’s face it, first impressions are important, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd.

There are plenty of opportunities, especially for those that take the time and effort to construct their CV in an easy-to-read format. There are tons of free templates on the internet so there are no excuses here. But if you are really battling and don’t want to make use of the free Microsoft Word templates or any of those on the net, then there are services like Careers Booster or VisualCV who will, at a price, assist. Remember that the interviewee reads hundreds of CV’s, so make yours memorable. Have headlines and bullet point relevant aspects, making for a quick and easy read. Submitting pages of writing will definitely not win you any favours, you can always offer a full or detailed CV on request.

We cannot stress this enough, if you are invited to have an interview always do your homework about the company – this impresses the interviewer but most importantly, shows respect, you give it – you get it!

3. Know Your Strengths.

Awareness of both your strengths and weaknesses are essential to your personal development. By being aware of your thoughts, your strengths, your desires, and your weaknesses – these give you insight on where to focus your energy. Don’t forget that in most cases, if you pay attention to your what you believe to be your weaknesses, you can turn them into strengths. It’s a proven fact that every weakness contains within itself, a strength.

Then go on to ask yourself job related questions like; could you sit behind a desk each day for 8 hours? Are you a patient person? Do you enjoy working with people? What is your time management like? Do you like to travel? Based on your answers, what would be the alternative option? Based on the analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, choose a career path that resonates with you and not what others feel you should you, this is your career after all.

Don’t get to hit up about choosing the right profession, many people change careers until they find their sweet spot – focus on your passion. Ask yourself if earning a high salary worth your soul? Balance is very important. What if you were so passionate about what you did that the money came in anyway? The energy that you radiate each day should be one of joy. Sure, we all have good and bad days and things do go wrong but follow the 80/20 rule and you’ll live a long, happy and blessed life.

4. Take Responsibility for Your Life.

It’s lonely at the top, and why you might ask? Well, leaders need to be focused, and yes, work comes before your social life and if you are studying, you need to fulfil that commitment too. If becoming a leader or being successful was easy, this blog would not interest you. One difference between mediocre and successful professionals is their level of commitment and responsibility. Just how seriously they take it makes all the difference. Consistency is also key. One day on and one day off is not going to cut it either! You have to show up each day with your game plan in play.

You cannot take your personal life issues to the office or let it mess with your work. Life is full of highs and lows, swings and round-abouts. Sitting on your cell phone, pitching to work late and not fulfilling your responsibilities will cost you dearly. Take a deep breath, do what you can with that which is in your control and then move on. Replaying “would of” and “could of” will only bring you down and obstruct your progress. Always assume responsibility for your actions and never blame anyone for your mistakes. Taking responsibility is a sign of progress and lastly, never take things personally, it’s not all about you, just be calm and move on.

5. Raise Your Standards.

Reassess your extended network on a regular basis, and take a moment to reflect on the influence, guidance and support these people give you and most importantly, are they aligned to your standards and values. Don’t forget the value of mentoring, to give back and to help others along, that’s a sign of a true leader. It’s like building a wall, brick by brick, take others with you, build a legacy of respect. Mix with those who’s standards you respect and admire. It’s very important to have a circle of friends or business colleges that inspire, support and motivate you. This is a critical element in the journey of the successful and the non-successful. Your circles of influence affect the way you think, believe, and behave. If your standards are high, and you wish to keep them there, then choose wisely. People with an inspired, strong circle After all, the goal is to live a full and rewarding life, to be successful and to become the best version of yourself.

6. Brand Yourself.

Branding is not only for products and businesses. Building your own brand is just as important. It doesn’t need loads of money but it does need consistency. Brands are built by repetition and consistency. Your business strategy is to deliver a consistent image and behavior to your colleges, customers, friends and family. How you behave could be anything from timekeeping to how you speak to support staff or the car guard. How you dress, does not have to be expensive brands but your style, it’s something that gives you a clear identity signature. Do you shave for work? How often do you trim your hair or nails? And does it matter – you decide, it’s your career!

It’s good to have an elevator pitch, something that when you meet someone or are networking, in 2 -3 short sentences, you can tell them exactly who you are, what motivates you, what your goals are and for good measure, the principles you live by. Not to be overlooked, in this digital age, be wary of the photos you share and post on your social platforms – potential employers do research. Dependant on the industry you are in, you might want to write a blog, or create a professional social media profile.

7. Network.

Networking is all about opportunities and connections. When you meet new people, your circle of connects and influences increases. To grow your network, you also need to bring something to the party, make sure you also have something to offer, this is where your elevator pitch comes in handy. Be confident in the services you offer, skills you have and if you are an authority in your field. Successful people network to pay forward, this creates many lifelong and beneficial relationships. It might be in regards a job, a contract, information or a supplier that will benefit you, your career or your family.

Create a professional profile on LinkedIn, and ensure you use an appropriate photo, remember, it’s not a social channel where you connect with your buddies, it’s about having the right connects, so accept wisely. LinkedIn is about businesses and professionals who use the channel to network and connect. If you have a Facebook profile, it should be devoid of drunken and inappropriate photos, jokes and language.

In Closing.

To build a successful career, it takes time. You have to be consistent and put in the effort. Be patient, your consistent efforts will be rewarded. If you’re willing to sacrifice some free time and are willing to challenge yourself by moving out of your comfort zone, you will succeed. Growth doesn’t come from being comfortable, you have to challenge yourself. It takes drive, courage and commitment to follow through that you have set your heart on. Question is, how badly do you want it?

Job Search Sites

  • SaGovjobs
  • Linkedin
  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • Google Careers
  • Career Jet
  • Careers24
  • Career Junction
  • Jobmail
  • Career Portal
  • Best Jobs
  • Pnet
  • Job Vine
  • Bizcommunity
  • Simply Hired
  • Recruit My Mom
  • Total Jobs
  • Government Jobs
  • Hotel Jobs
  • Hospitality Placements
  • Compu Jobs
  • Job Nexus
  • Trovit
  • Junk Mail
  • The Job Centre

Free Online Courses Sites

  • Shaw Academy
  • Alison
  • Udacity
  • Cousera
  • edx
  • Lynda
  • Imsimbi
  • Get Smarter
  • Online Studies
  • Skills Portal
  • Fundi
  • Class Central
  • Youth Village
  • Future Learn
  • Cambri Learn
  • IQ Academy
  • Mooci-List
  • Business Tech
  • Giga Promo
  • Zapeta

Tips for before the Job Interview

  1. Start by researching the company and your interviewers.
  2. Practice your answers to common interview questions.
  3. Reread the job description.
  4. Use the STAR method in answering questions.
  5. Recruit a friend to practice answering questions.
  6. Prepare a list of references.
  7. Be prepared with examples of your work.
  8. Prepare smart questions for your interviewers.
  9. Plan your interview attire the night before.
  10. Bring copies of your resume, a notebook and pen.
  11. Plan your schedule so that you can arrive 10–15 minutes early.
  12. Make a great first impression.
  13. Treat everyone you encounter with respect.
  14. Practice good manners and body language.
  15. Win them over with your authenticity and positivity.
  16. Respond truthfully to the questions asked.
  17. Tie your answers back to your skills and accomplishments.
  18. Keep your answers concise and focused.
  19. Do not speak negatively about your previous employers.
  20. Ask about next steps.
  21. Send a personalized thank you letter after the interview.

Tips on how to write your Resume/CV.

  1. Keep it short – 2 A4 pages or less.
  2. List your education history.
  3. Clearly list your work experience.
  4. List your duties and responsibilities.
  5. Be consistent with your format.
  6. Use positive terms and good English.
  7. Spell check your CV before using it.
  8. Edit your CV for each job application.
  9. Ensure your contact details are correct.
  10. Keep your online CV up-to-date.

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