Ideally, every professional should strives to advance in their career but this does not happen by chance. It takes preparation and intentionality to ensure that you progress in your chosen career path. As the new year unfolds, it is important to set goals for how you want to advance in your career. To position yourself for career success in 2023, here are some useful tips you can apply:
1. Define Your Goals
Career success means different things to different people. You have to decide what being successful in your career means to you before you can begin to chart the course on how to get there. These goals must be SMART in order to be effective. You can also break them into monthly, quarterly and annual time frames. This will allow you to consistently work on your goals throughout the year.
2. Prepare to take advantage of opportunities
Whether you opt to take on leadership opportunities or make strategic contributions to campaigns or projects, you have to equip yourself with the required knowledge and skillset to make the most of the opportunities that will come you way. We’re you’ve seen this famous quote about success, “Success is when preparation meets opportunity.” It’s not just a quote; it’s the absolute truth. You can prepare for opportunities by taking courses and enhancing your skills. Also, make sure you prioritize asking for feedback from your manager and peers. This will help you to identify possible areas of growth.
3. Be deliberate about your visibility
Positioning yourself for career success means being intentional about your personal brand and making sure you are noticed by the right people, in the right network. Instead of waiting for your work to speak for you, sometimes you just need to speak for yourself and show what you have achieved. This does not mean constantly bragging about your achievements but strategically showcasing your capabilities within your organization. You can learn more about personal branding as a communications professional here.
4. Network with your industry peers
Networking contributes immense benefits to your career growth when done effectively. A good professional network exposes you to information and opportunities that could help you advance in your career. You can network by attending events, engaging with industry peers via social media platforms and much more. With a strong and active network, you get to enjoy some of these benefits:
- New job opportunities.
- Valuable relationships with industry experts.
- Mentorship opportunities.
- Up to date knowledge of industry trends.
5. Revise and improve your CV and work portfolio
The last thing you want to happen to you is to be right in front of an exclusive opportunity but you’re not able to take advantage of that opportunity because you don’t have the relevant documents needed. As you progress in your career, you get more work and educational experience, learn new skills or enhance existing ones. All of these improvements should reflect in your CV or your portfolio. This will help to increase your chances of being considered when the career opportunity you’ve been looking out for comes your way. To do this, you have to document your career journey, monitor the trajectory of your career growth and properly articulate the value you bring to the table.
6. Imbibe Discipline and Hardwork
Your journey to career success will require sacrifice and determination. All the positioning and networking will not yield much if you are not ready to settle down to do the work. To stand out in your industry, regardless of what career success means to you, requires discipline and hard work. Excellent work will set you apart and it can also take your name to places you never imagined.
7. Be Confident
According to Michelle Obama, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude. Your confidence reflects in your carriage, poise and ability to maintain your composure even you’re under stress. Whether you like it or not, people watch you and form a perception of you based on how you present yourself. While it is important to remain true to your values, it is necessary to work on the areas that will help you to showcase a strong and confident personal brand. Confidence can open doors and help you build credibility.
Career success requires you to constantly improve yourself and this does not happen overnight. In 2023, you can make giant strides in your career if you are willing to consistently commit to putting in the work. Ensure you regularly review your goals, measure your growth and work on areas that need improvement.
You should also consider joining a professional community! The Comms Avenue is a capacity-building and networking platform for communications professionals across Africa and beyond. With a whole lot planned for 2023, this is a community that will actively contribute to your career success as a communications professional. If you aren’t already a part of the community, you can join here and invite your other Comms/ PR colleagues.