According to research conducting through McCrindle, if you are between the ages of 25 and 40, you probably will not be working for your current employer in four years time. And, if you are in your twenties or early 30’s, you will probably be with a new employer within 2 to 3 years. While the reasons for changing jobs every few years are different for each person, it has become clear that to be able to grow your career it is imperative to continually be building your personal brand as well as gaining new and diverse skills. As things at work (usually!) are a bit quieter than normal, the holiday season is a great time to focus on your personal growth.
Whether you are hoping for that promotion that was just announced at your marketing agency, or are searching to move across to a new in-house role in the new year, having new skills in your toolbox will be an important asset into landing the job and securing the salary you deserve.
Here are some trending tips on how to gain value from the downtime during the summer
1. Update your Linked-In Profile
While this might not fit into the classic definition of upskilling, having an updated profile opens you up to more opportunities. Many people forget that often internal and external recruiters will approach candidates based on their Linked-In profiles before positions are even posted publicly. If you have extra time, why not share an article or two about trends happening in your industry to show that you are knowledgeable and engaged in the conversation?
2. Take a Professional Development Course
Gone are the days where taking a course required a long commute to a university campus as a “mature” student. Now, a plethora of online learning opportunities exist that range from individual lessons about a certain topic to short courses with assignments to help upskill. As a starting point, visit Open Universities Australia or Udemy to see the range of courses. You never know, you might be able to sharpen your knowledge of SEO principles or gain new management skills.
Also an “out-of-the-box” suggestion, volunteering not only provides you with an opportunity to make a difference in your local community, but it also helps you upskill. By joining a not-for-profit board, you can gain skills in leadership and governance as well as strengthen your network with other professionals from different industries. As the cliche goes, your network is your net worth.
If you prefer a more hands-on volunteer opportunity such as serving food in a soup kitchen, you will be able to develop your soft skills such as empathy, understanding, and acceptance.
4. Find a Mentor
John C. Crosby said, “mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” Having someone that has built a successful career that you turn to when you have a difficult decision to make and want some objective advice can be instrumental for your growth. While some people thrive on academic knowledge, having a relationship with someone that can help you navigate those difficult career choices can help you understand the positives and negatives and empower yourself with better decision-making skills. The holidays are a great time to attend events and parties and be open to building new professional relationships that will continue to be nurtured and developed throughout the year.
With 5 to 7 career changes becoming the new normal throughout your career, it is important to think about what that next step is… otherwise, someone else will.