Your job makes you miserable. You spend day after day running groceries over a scanner and listening to people complain to you about things you can’t control. It’s time to put yourself back at the beginning of the career stage.
The question is, how do you get started from the top? It’s hard work that takes a lot of networking and resume building, but we promise that it’s not impossible.
We’ve got a few tips that will help you keep moving forward when things feel grim. Keep reading to learn how to advance in your career and become your own definition of success.
1. Figure Out What Your Values Are
Your values are a set of morals and codes that you go by throughout life. Go to a company website before you apply and check out what their mission statement is.
If it seems to line up with your career goals and values, go ahead and submit your resume. There’s a good chance that working at the business will fill you with a sense of satisfaction and happiness. You can’t pass that up.
2. Build Your Resume
Speaking of submitting a resume, you need to make sure that yours stands out in a professional manner. If you haven’t made any updates to it in a while, it’s time to dust it off and get to work.
If you don’t have a resume and don’t know where to begin, getting a professional service to look at it isn’t a bad idea. They’ll know how to highlight your strengths and weaknesses.
If you can’t afford a service, that’s understandable too. Here are a few tips that you can use so as not to put yourself at a disadvantage.
Look for Buzz Words
Before you submit your resume to a potential employer, sit down and read the job description. Many industry leaders will put keywords throughout the description.
You’ll want to pepper these words into your resume when you can appropriately do so. It will not only show the employer that you’re qualified, but it will also tell them that you took the time to read the description.
Look At Examples
If you’re crafting your resume from the top, looking at samples might help you get started. Note that these are only for inspiration.
Don’t copy the samples or use them as a template. They’re only meant to show you what employers in your field are looking for in a resume.
It’s All in the Font
The average job recruiter only looks at your resume for 6 seconds. If they can’t read it because you decided to use fun or funky font, they’ll throw it in the garbage.
Use basic fonts like Times New Roman or Ariel. As far as size goes, 10-or-12-point font is fine. If you go any larger than that, you won’t be able to fit everything on one page, and if you go any smaller, it will be hard on the eyes.
Relevant Info Only
You may have so many achievements that you can’t fit them all on one page. You want to include anything that makes you look good. If it’s not relevant to the job you’re going after, however, it’s not going to help you much.
Any jobs that you worked over ten years ago should fall off. You don’t have to include your college minor and only list the achievements that matter to the recruiter.
Call Out Those Important Achievements
Everyone has an experience section on their resume. Most people write a list of their job duties under each heading. This is okay, but you should take it to the next level.
Instead of telling recruiters what you did, list three or four key achievements that you met while you were on the job. They care much more about the impact you had at work than anything else.
Don’t Add-In Sections That You Don’t Need
When you’re looking at templates, they may suggest a bunch of headings and subheadings that you don’t actually need. For example, you shouldn’t include both a resume summary and an objective section. Pick one.
If you’re just now graduating from college or high school and haven’t held a relevant job down yet, change up how you handle your experience section. You’ll still have to have one, but put down any coursework you did that correlates to the career you’re applying for instead.
3. Ignore the Naysayers
You’ll have people out there who think they can tell you what you can do with your career. This is especially true if you choose something in a creative field.
They’ll tell you to choose a career path that pays better or pick something that offers more opportunities. Don’t listen to these naysayers. You know how to shape your life by yourself.
Surround yourself with people who support your choices. Pick a few friends or family members to be part of your support team. You can also hire a life or career coach.
4. Learn Your Strengths
If you try to get a job that plays to your weaknesses rather than strengths, you’ll feel like you’re banging your head against the wall. While going this route will help you sharpen those weaknesses and turn them into strengths, that approach doesn’t work for everyone.
If you’re not sure what your strengths are, take a moment to take an online assessment. It will only take a few moments, and at the end of the test, you’ll know where you stand.
5. Decide What Success Means to You
When building your career, it’s important to define what success means to you. This way, you have a road map to go by. Do you want to make a 6-figure paycheck?
Do you want to climb the corporate ladder until you get your very own office? Do you want to be able to work reasonable hours so you have time to spend with your family at the end of the day? Is your only goal helping people?
6. Create Your Own Brand
Branding is a company’s image. Big corporate businesses spend thousands of dollars establishing their brand so they can gain the attention of their target audience.
We’re here to say that you don’t have to be a big company to have a brand. Go ahead and create a brand around your name and services. The best way to get started is to start a blog.
If you pump out relevant information that customers can use on a normal basis, you’ll establish trust.
7. Networking Is a Must
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help with building a successful career. The truth is, many people break out into their chosen field thanks to networking.
It will allow you to meet business professionals. If you make a big enough impact on these individuals, they may give you helpful tips or send job opportunities your way.
The best way to go about networking is by creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All three platforms are full of professionals that you can get into contact with.
8. Know Everything About Your Chosen Career Field
To pull ahead of other people in your industry, you’re going to have to do some studying. Look up other professionals in the field and find out how they got where they are.
Keep up with industry trends. If you need to brush up on the tech side of your job, take Oracle lessons. When you’re knowledgeable, it will set you apart from other applicants.
Not only will you have information that you can put on your resume, but you can also show off what you know during the interview process.
9. Have High Standards
The height of your standards shapes how you perform in the job field. If you have higher standards than most, you’ll never settle for less.
People with this mindset are usually much more successful than people who will take any old position and go with it. Never strive for less than you’re worth.
10. Cheer Yourself on
You don’t need to wait for someone else to praise you. When you hit a huge accomplishment, pat yourself on the back and take yourself out to dinner. You deserve it.
When you hype yourself up, you’ll be more likely to keep knocking stuff off your career bucket list.
Be Successful No Matter What Career Stage You’re at
Do you want to start down a new job path? Are you trying to get started in a job field? No matter where you are in the career stage, the tips you’ve read here today will help you break out and become successful.
Remember to surround yourself with positive people, polish that resume, and when things get tough, cheer yourself on. Do this, and we promise that you’ll make it.
If you need more career advice, we’ve got you covered. Check out the Career Self-Help section of our blog for more ways to succeed.