Do you want to get a promotion in 2019? Or find a better job at a new company? No matter what your career goal is, coming up with a roadmap to help you achieve it is the best way to start. The first step is determining where exactly you are in your career, and where it is that you want to be.
It is possible to get a better job in just six months — as long as you have a clear beginning and endpoint. GOBankingRates spoke to career experts about the action items you can take each month to land a better job in 2019.
Month 1: Network
“I tell my clients the No. 1 key to finding the job you want, or taking your career to the next level, is to network,” said Keith R. Sbiral, certified professional coach with Apochromatik. “But it just isn’t easy for some people. If you break it down, it can be. My suggestion is to make one new connection, either through LinkedIn, in person, at a training, internal to your organization or at a conference, each and every week.”
By the end of the month, you’ll have four new contacts, and if you keep this going for the entire six months, you’ll have 24 new contacts.
“Your network is more likely to land you a new job than all the internet searches you can do,” he said. “This strategy takes a minimal amount of time per week, and will build a rock-solid foundation for your career.”
Month 2: Learn a New Skill
“Investing in yourself and continuing your education, or adding new tools to your skill set is going to help you advance not only in 2019, but throughout your career,” said Val Streif, a former career adviser for Mentat who now works for mock interview platform Pramp. “There are so many free courses available online to learn almost anything, so plan to spend a little bit of your free time consistently working on something to improve yourself, whether it’s programming, Photoshop, learning a new language — anything that makes you an asset to a higher-level position is going to be a big help.”
Month 3: Identify a Challenge at Your Company, and Come Up With a Plan to Solve It
“Companies do not hire people to just complete tasks — they hire people to solve business challenges,” said Daniel Mori, president of Employment Solutions of New York, Inc.
If you’re seeking an internal promotion, talk to your manager or boss about any challenges they need help solving, and come up with executable solutions. Being the person who solves a major issue at your company will certainly get the attention of the higher-ups when it comes time for promotions. Solving major challenges at your current job will also make you a more appealing job candidate when you’re seeking employment elsewhere.
“When preparing a resume, CV and LinkedIn profile, [a job seeker] should frame their current employment to highlight the challenges they solve and the benefits [they provide] to the company,” said Mori.
Month 4: Perform the Duties of the Job You Want — Even If They’re Not Part of Your Current Job Description
“You’ll have a far better chance of advancing higher in the food chain if you’re already performing some of the duties required of that next level,” said Dan Clay, career strategist and author of “How to Write the Perfect Resume.” “Assuming you’re already performing well in your current role, you should actively seek opportunities to build experience doing the types of things you’d be doing in the role you hope to get to. This could include things like training and mentoring a new employee, taking on a hairy project that others have been afraid to tackle, or offering to share some of the workload of someone in your target position. The more you can prove that you’re already capable of doing the work at the next level, the easier the decision will be to put you there.”
Month 5: Brush Up on Your Interview Skills
Whether you’re seeking an internal promotion or a new job, you’ll likely have to answer some questions about why you’re the best person to fill the position. Interview questions usually fall into set topic areas, so as long as you’re prepped to discuss them, you should nail the job interview.
“Research the top most commonly asked interview questions,” said Jaime Chapman, federal resume writer, career coach and founder of Begin Within. “Prepare a story for each category: leadership style, problem-solving, teamwork, balancing competing priorities, meeting tough deadlines, strengths/weaknesses, etc. The stories should be easy to remember, visual and explain your expertise at the skill.”
Month 6: Establish Yourself as an Expert
If you want to climb the career ladder, make yourself a sought-after expert in your field — this will make your current employer more eager to hold onto you and new employers more eager to hire you.
“Speak at conferences, publish articles or a book, teach a webinar or appear as a guest on a podcast,” said Chapman. “The opportunities are limitless to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to brag a little bit. Building your expertise as an expert in your field will create a demand for you.”
Click through to learn how to use your body language to win mentors and earn raises.
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