I have always had a lot of “irons in the fire”, so to speak when it comes to my work. With many interests come many responsibilities, and also many options if you are consistently doing something to further your skills.
I have always believed that we all should devote 5-10 minutes every day to further our careers, whether it be for the career we are currently involved in or our future career (that we may not be aware of yet!). As a musician, I could argue that practicing each day would constitute “furthering a career”, but I’m removing that from the equation. Taking a few minutes to do something to “spread your tentacles” out into the professional world will definitely yield incredible results long term.
Here are some ideas:
- Make a meaningful connection. Reach out to someone you admire or aspire to be like. Ask them to mentor you, give you a lesson, or you can interview them. It only takes you a few minutes to make a call or send an email to them.
- Sign up for a class. I know, a class takes a while to complete, but it only takes a few minutes to sign up! I will be taking a CPR/First Aid course soon. You can go ahead and put your courses toward an advance degree or take a class to save money later (basic electrical work, for example).
- Download something educational. An ebook, PDF, or audiobook should do the trick. Feed your mind with anything you can get your hands on! Read, read, read!
- Volunteer. Donate your time to an organization that interests you. You will meet a lot of important contacts and learn more about the field you are spending your time working in.
- Update your CV/Resume. Heck, you may need to create one from scratch. A CV is quite a huge undertaking, even to update once in awhile. Get started now!
- Give a Speech. Public speaking is a crucial skill to have. Volunteer for every speaking opportunity that presents itself, or simply present something to groups where you work. In the past I have taken transcripts of famous speeches and read them aloud (preferably with a video to mimic inflection).
- Read the Want Ads. See a job that seems interesting? Check out the qualifications section and write down the things you cannot do yet. Then, learn how to do them! Worse thing that happens is you have another skill set!
- Learn new technology. You can never go wrong with this. Who knows, maybe you will end up writing a blog or designing a website!
Remember, you should never wait until you want to do something else as a career to do something about it. Ironically, when you develop yourself on a regular basis, the career finds you. You will help cultivate your passion.
What types of things do you do every day to advance your career?