8 Simple Steps Towards Professional Success

  1. Utilize Your Network
  • Make sure you are maintaining your network, don’t just phone a friend when you are in a crisis, but instead be present periodically without ulterior motives.  Keep an ear out for any connections an acquatinance or friend may have in any particular career paths you may find interest in.
  • Use your network to build up your references on any resume or application.  Reach for people of authority anywhere from midlevel management to COO.  Suck it up and ask for reference letters from these people, they may just say yes.
  • Up your LinkedIn game.

2. Attend Local Job Fairs

  • Nothing makes you shine like face time with a company that may be considering your resume.  An application is easily discarded, but a pleasant and confident introduction will make any employer think twice.
  • This will also give you the upper hand to see the companies that are out there seeking help and the faces and personalities of the individuals that are actually carrying out the hiring process.

3. Add qualifying and unique perks to your resume

  • Community Service and Awards:  Once you reach the age of 20 the clubs and achievements of high school will no longer apply.  Keep involved in your community.  You want a job as a technical writer, submit your writing into contests for recognition you can list on your resume.  Join and be active in community reach out groups that are active in the community.  (You may make some important professional network connections in these).
  • Utilize Important References:  Again utilize your network.  Always ask the individuals you are using as references so they know to expect a call regard to your character.
  • Military Experience:  This will never cease to fade in your quality of character and value.  Listing Military shows that you have had training in responsibility, diligence, and aren’t afraid to do the hard work.  Don’t be ashamed to list recognitions or medals you achieved with merit.

4. Work Your Way Up the Ladder

  • There is no shame in starting at the bottom and working your way up.  Harrison Ford was only a handyman when he was spotted for the silver screen.  There are success stories of substitutes gaining full time teaching positions and custodians working their way up to management every day.
  • Go above and beyond and show enthusiasm for your work, nothing is truly a dead end.
  • Make it clear to your supervisors that you are interested in being primed for management.  Make sure in your interview or during your training you are asking about your opportunities.
  • Get your face out there and be active in the work community.

5.  Have a Dream

  • Write out your dream and place it in plain view so you don’t lose focus on it.
  • Come up with a clear game plan of at least three different paths you could follow to reach this dream.
  • Give a timeline to yourself.
  • Keep the dream exciting but attainable.

6.  Apply Only Where You Qualify

  • Companies talk, do not throw resumes to be a rocket scientist at Nasa with only a GED.  Do not apply to be part of a biotech firm if you have absolutely no knowledge or experience in science.  Don’t set yourself up for failure or place your name on a blacklist.

7.  Be Open to Compromise

  • Do not expect to be hired straight into the position that you are qualified for or want.  Sometimes a company may not have an opening in your specialization but are willing to hire you in some other department or some lower level of work.   Take the job knowing you will have opportunities in the future to work your way back up the ladder.
  • Be Willing to Work odd hours or perform tasks outside your comfort zone.
  • Apply for an internship or an apprenticeship to make connections and build your experience.

8. Dress to Impress

  • Your dress does not stop at your attire, what is your overall presentation you present day to day of who you are to those around you?  What is the full picture?
  • Does your day to day wear reflect professionalism and success?  If you were to run into the head of your dream company today would they be impressed by you, or professionally turned off by you?  First Impressions are vital!
  • Does your conversational topics with others show that you are a confident candidate that has everything together, or do you insist on gossip and talks of personal drama in your daily conversations.  (You can’t take back words)
  • Does your social media page reflect an individual who is a stellar candidate for employment, or an individual who can conquer a keg stand?

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