Top 6 tips to turbo charge your career
The festive season is a time for family, fun and a few weeks away from the daily grind. It's also a time when most people take stock of their career and consider what they can do to improve their resume and their professional status.
Australia's leading management body has compiled a list of actions that will turbo charge your career in 2014 and beyond. AIM QLD NSW ACT NT is committed to career success and its chief executive officer in Vivienne Anthon FAIM has revealed her formula to fast-track your career trajectory.
Ms Anthon has spent more than two decades in senior management roles across a range of sectors and her tips and advice has been honed over many years of successful leadership.
"Employers are always looking for people who are committed to personal and professional development and acquiring new skill sets," Ms Anthon said. "You're never too old to update your skill set and improve your resume and there are strategies and tips that do exactly that which cost nothing."
1. Update your resume over Christmas and at least twice during the year whether you are actively seeking a new position or not. This captures significant projects and contributions in a timely manner and avoids reconstructing career highlights well after the event. The same applies to updating formal and informal professional development activities which provide insight into your commitment to learning.
2. Just as health experts encourage us to stay fit by factoring in incremental exercise, factor incidental learning into your daily routine. About 20 minutes is all that it takes to maintain your management muscle. Load a TED talk onto your device, listen to an HBR podcast while you are travelling, join a LinkedIn group in your area of expertise or follow a management guru on Twitter – using down time or transition time.
3. Those who write well will inherit the earth. Communication is all about the receiver. Resist the temptation to over explain, make assumptions or abbreviate in an informal manner out of sync with business etiquettes. Regularly review a piece of communication a week after you wrote it and edit out every word that is not absolutely essential to meaning. Ask – if you had to pay $10 for every word you used, which could you lose?
4. Read, summarise and review a management book once a month and then distribute the summary to five colleagues – four within your current network and one new contact. Not only will they appreciate your effort but you will send the clear message that you keep yourself up to date by reading widely. Management texts are highly variable so scan the business press before launching into a giant text which might be highly derivative of previous work.
5. How you sound and how you think you sound are two entirely different things. Your voice can impact your career. Pick a topic you are passionate about and prepare a 10 minute presentation. Record yourself on your smartphone and play it back. Consider both form and content – what you said and how you said it. Were you considered, concise and clear or did you stumble, repeat a favourite phrase or word or lack cohesion?
6. Exercise your brain by doing something that you would not normally do. The plethora of material on brain science and neuroscience is reinforcing a message – when it comes to your brain, it’s use it or lose it. If you want to turbo charge your career, an agile and adaptive brain will be your best friend. Juggling, a foreign language, Sudoku or crosswords will develop your brain; make you a more interesting colleague and turbo charge your career for years.