Career success does not always come naturally. Most people have to work extremely hard, and make sacrifices, to get to the place that they want to be. When considering the best ways that you can boost your career or get it going again after the coronavirus pandemic, making a new investment in your career is one of the best steps that you can take to meet your overall goals. This article will cover some of the top investments that people can make for their career and how each of these can have a positive effect on your career outcomes both now and in the future.
1. An Online Degree
When you consider the potential investments that are available for your career, most people will instantly think about education. Returning to school can be a valuable tool for career success – you gain the expert knowledge needed related to your particular industry, while also providing you with the formal qualification needed for job applications in your field.But it comes at a large price. Obtaining a degree or a certification is not only costly, but these courses can also mean a great investment of your time, with many people having to step away from family and other commitments to complete these courses to a high standard.
However, rather than having to invest in the course, the accommodation and all the other expenses that campus colleges incur, online degrees can help you to make a worthy investment for your career while still retaining some semblance of your normal life. Online degrees have not always been seen as suitable investments, but now employers are becoming much more open to the tools that online degrees give you and most of them now recognize this type of qualification. Not only can an online degree help you to get a job, but they are also a great investment as they can allow you to get professional experience and to develop a network of people working within your industry. You can then use this as a springboard for your career.
To make sure that you are making the right investment, you should research the types of online courses that are available to you and make sure that they are legitimate. For instance, some colleges and universities are based entirely online, while some simply offer the same courses online as they do at their campus. For instance, at Marymount University, their accredited online DNP programs meet the specifications of all healthcare courses and allow you to leave college with the same level of education as someone that has studied on their campus.
2. A Career Coach or Service
Entering into the world of work after university or college can be daunting, especially if you have no connections in the workplace or struggle to hear about open positions. This is where a career coach or service can be a worthy investment for job seekers. They can help to streamline your job search and ensure that you can find positions that constantly further your career.
In this way, this type of service is also an excellent option for individuals who are mid-career and who feel as if their career is stagnating or unable to progress in its current direction. Another option could be to find a career coach who can guide you through unemployment and encourage you to regain your confidence, as many people often feel dejected after a job loss or lose motivation in their chosen career.
Career coaches and services can offer many services and benefits to their clients. For instance, a career coach can help you to set goals that cater to your strengths and give you support in forming a step-by-step plan that you can follow throughout the near future of your working life. They can also help to isolate any weaknesses in your resume or in your interview skills that are preventing you from obtaining the job of your dreams, and can give you the advice that you need to improve these aspects of your job hunting.
They can also help you to show-off the best version of yourself possible, with the expert knowledge that is needed to showcase your experience and your qualifications in a way that meets the requirements of your dream job. On a basic level, they also have an in-depth awareness of the current opportunities on the job market and which could be the right option for you, as well as direct connections with the employers of your dreams.
To invest in the right career coach for you, you should ask for recommendations from the people that you know within your industry. You should also always check if a career coach has a social media account, as this can give you a deeper insight into their genuineness and their style of coaching. This will ensure that your investment is not wasted on a career coach who does not have the expertise that you are looking for.
3. Reading Material and Digital Subscriptions
One of the key aspects of any career growth is knowledge and you can make sure that you are constantly learning and educating yourself by investing in reading material and digital subscriptions. Many industries produce comprehensive journals and magazines which detail the latest developments and discoveries within the sector that you are planning to seek a career within.
This can be incredibly useful to make sure that you stay on top of changes to the industry and so that your skills and knowledge meet these changes. This can help you to stay future-facing and to be constantly ready to meet the needs of your industry and the type of candidate that employers are looking for. By doing this, you will be actively continuing to research your sector in a simple and yet effective way.
Resources can come from a wide number of different directions. For instance, they may come in the form of e-books which you can find on e-reading apps, as well as magazine subscriptions which can have transferred to a digital format. You might also be able to subscribe to some blogs for free. Not only this, but you might be able to find suitable resources by searching in journal databases, which collate the latest and best academic papers in one place for your perusal.
4. Career and Job Software
When you are looking to boost your career, there are many different ways in which technology can be there to help you and to meet your employment and advice needs. For instance, there are many mobile applications that have been developed to improve your job search experience, with some job websites offering apps that can allow you to search for the right position on the go.
Not only this, but there are also many career coaching and advice apps, from those that direct you to the best career pathway for you, to those that offer individualized advice and even learning that can help to complement your career. Additionally, there are many apps that can allow you to develop and spruce up your resume, as well as to chase up and keep track of the applications that you have recently sent off to employers.
Once you are settled within a career that you want to find success in, there is also a large range of apps that can help you to excel in the workplace, as well as in your job search. For instance, productivity apps can allow you to keep track of your deadlines, stop procrastinating, and to complete tasks more efficiently and effectively. There are also many calendar apps that can allow you to set alerts, remind yourself of interviews and meetings, and schedule appointments when you need to. Although these apps can be used for a wide range of purposes, they are invaluable for those looking for an extra helping hand in leaping up the career ladder.
Although many of these apps are free to download, if you find them useful, there are many paid options that may be of a better quality. Many apps also have a paywall behind which you may be able to access extra features that could benefit you and help you to end your job search more quickly.
5. Your Personal Brand
However, rather than constantly looking outwards for resources, you should also consider investing in your personal brand. Your personal brand is important as it can allow you to stand out from the competition and stay memorable in the minds of employers, as well as allow employers to know exactly what you can offer them and what they will be getting when they employ you.
To invest in your personal brand, you should consider developing a website. Although buying your own domain name comes at an extra cost, it will help your website to be easier to find by interested parties and will allow it to have a memorable ring that others do not. You could also consider employing a website designer to help you to create a professional and formal website that can represent you as a brand and show you in a great light.
However, there are also many free website builders that you can choose to use, each of which offers pre-created themes that allow you to bring your website to life without any design experience. You can then use this website to share information about yourself, to show your expertise by creating a blog about your niche subject or even to host webinars and online courses where you can impart your specialist knowledge to others.
You should also consider creating a portfolio online which can help you to represent yourself and your work on a digital platform. You can do this by signing up to portfolio websites, of which there are many, particularly for creative pursuits, or by using a paid theme that acts as a portfolio for images and content. This will help you to show your potential employers something more engaging than your resume when you are applying for roles and can allow you to showcase the type of work that you could create for them.
6. Professional Relationships
One aspect of your career which you need to continually invest both time and money into are your professional relationships. There are many free ways that you can connect with others, including on business social media websites like LinkedIn, as well as business forums. However, there are also many paid actions that you can take that can help you to boost and maintain your network.
For instance, you might consider attending networking events and conferences, as well as signing up for a networking group. Here, you will be able to make regular contact with others within your industry. However, some of these work on a referral basis, where you must get a referral each month and use another member’s services, to continue to play an active part in the group. Many of these groups have also started to host monthly online meetings on platforms such as Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The greatest investment that you can make for your career is the input of your time. Although time is technically free, giving your time can impact your work/life balance and can easily be more of a commitment than investing financially. Many people forget the importance of investing their time in their career, instead believing that certain career moves can happen overnight, with minimal time and effort involved – which is certainly not the case.
You can invest time in your career by carrying out side-projects in your free time, by working hard throughout the week and by always choosing to go the extra mile for your employer, as well as by committing to a few hours of job searching or professional development a week. However, it is vitally important that you avoid burnout by taking the time off that you need – to socialise, spend time with family or whatever you do to relax. You can schedule in some time for career progression each week and ensure that you are always able to continue movi