A new year, a rejuvenated economy, and more opportunities for workers: the ‘Great Resignation’ has created a climate for people to better realize their potential and advance their career goals.
But whether you’re looking to develop your current career or pursue a new professional direction, you need motivation, information, and, crucially, a plan.
Is it time for a promotion?
Bucketloads of preparation are required if you want to advance your career. Besides bolstering your own confidence and listing objective reasons why you’re suited for a promotion, you also need to anticipate “I’m sorry, maybe next year” scenarios and have solid counterarguments ready.
Your promotion pitch needs to be well-timed too. A company that finds itself with extra work, for example, will be better positioned to consider a promotion bid than an entity losing clients. Make the moment matter by being armed with all the information you need to deliver a compelling case, rather than stumbling through a presentation peppered with “ums” and “ahs.”
Power tip: Preparing for a ‘promotion push’ requires gathering and organizing your information. Create separate lists for hard data, pertinent skills and experience, and solutions to possible objections, and don’t be afraid to make use of emoji like 👉, 💯, and 🤖 to help organize your thoughts. Evernote supports several typing shortcuts that automatically apply special formatting as you type. That way, when you make your move, you’ll have everything at hand to prepare and deliver a killer pitch.
Charting a new career path
It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a career that’s not fulfilling, whether professionally, personally, or financially. You may be looking for a way to bring in more money, or have more flexible hours to deal with changing needs at home. Perhaps you simply feel your current career path is no longer viable and are looking at change as a way to derive more personal satisfaction from your work.
Regardless of the reasons, planning well will pay handsome dividends in the long run:
- Start with an honest assessment of your current situation by listing your skills and experience—that’ll help you decide on a new career direction, as well as identifying the assets you bring to the table.
- Add a list of skills that are not staples in your current role but are non-negotiables in any position on your radar.
- Note options for classes or training to develop any needed skills you might not currently possess.
- Finally, canvas possible jobs and companies to get a baseline for things such as salaries, perks, and development opportunities.
Making a shift in your career is challenging. The fact that so many opportunities exist right now shouldn’t be your only reason for making a switch, but should instead encourage you to pursue something you truly enjoy. That in itself is advancement.
Power tip: New skills, in particular, are important to prioritize when planning a career change, as is ‘upskilling’ or giving your current skillset a thorough makeover. Capture and record information during classes or while studying, noting pertinent facts to help you quickly build new knowledge.
Find a new job fast
While changing jobs is easier than changing careers (yes, there’s a difference), it still presents a number of challenges that you should be ready for. A great deal may have changed in the job market since you last applied for a position.
- Extend your reach. With hybrid/remote work increasingly touted as the future of work, you needn’t be limited to location. Look for jobs outside of your geographical zone, especially those with remote work options.
- Look at the culture, not just the perks. While benefits are nice, obviously, they are no match for a healthy business culture with supportive management and co-workers.
- Sell yourself. While it’s important not to distort your record or claim skills you don’t possess, don’t hold back highlighting the reasons why YOU should be chosen for the job you’re applying for.
Power tip: If you spot a job listing that appeals, but you don’t have the time or focus to pursue it at that specific time, use Web Clipper to capture the details. You can come back to later, allowing you to move through numerous job listings quickly and select the ones that are interesting without wasting time.
Become your own boss
Starting a business or working for yourself can advance your career in ways you never dreamed of, getting you out of the marshlands of a larger organization and enjoying the perks of working for yourself. The viability of remote work makes starting your own business easier than ever, but, importantly, it still requires preparation and discipline.
In particular, establishing a firm idea of the finances required—both the costs to run the business and the means by which you bring in revenue—is essential. That means researching the market, looking into licensing and taxing requirements, and a myriad of other details that need to be addressed before your self-owned business can take off.
Power tip: Advancing your career is easier when you’re organized. Use Evernote templates to keep track of applications submitted, when they’re submitted, and add flags to highlight your next steps. Clarify your goals by organizing thoughts, small business plans, and options in one place.
Plan, prepare, progress
How would you like to be a senior-level manager breaching the $200K barrier this year? Perhaps you see yourself running your own company with employees, or opening a store on Main Street selling your own designs. Whether you’re looking to shift to a new industry or advance in your current field, getting organized is the key that unlocks all these potentially life-changing opportunities. Break your goals down into actionable steps, and stay organized; the promotion, job change, or career advancement you’re dreaming of will follow.