What are the hacks that will help you advance your career? Below are a list of tried-and-tested suggestions: ten career hacks that if used, will have a positve impact on your career.
1. Define Your Personal Image
First impressions are everything, you will have heard. And it’s true; you will be judged on your appearance. Aim to project a consistent image that reflects the best version of yourself (Pharrell Williams, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg are good examples of a consistent image). If money is an issue, find a way to look good on the cheap – studies have shown that those who are perceived as being attractive are also considered to be more successful and more intelligent.
2. Develop a Memorable Elevator Pitch
You will invariably attend a host of networking meetings throughout your career. As such, it is vital to have a clear and concise response to the inevitable question: “And what do you do?” Your response is your elevator pitch and it should embody the message you want to communicate when you are asked about your work. Not sure how to craft one? Have a look here.
3. Get Online
Ideally you should have your own website that you can use to show off your interests and your portfolio. When potential employers look for you, and they will, they will be better informed about who you are: your interests, your character, and your achievements. If you do already have an online profile, make sure it’s squeaky clean, ie there’s nothing that will show you in a bad light. Resources such as SimpleWash (to remove any unwanted Twitter or Facebook posts) will be your ally here, and you can ‘game’ your Google results to ensure its the good stuff that shows up when you’re Googled. And it goes without saying that a tip-top LinkedIn profile is essential, so make sure your LinkedIn profile communicates the information you want it to communicate.
5. Improve Your Writing Skills
Study after study has identified poor writing skills as a major reason why CVs head for the bin. You don’t need to be able to turn a phrase like Churchill or Hemingway, but you do need to make sure your writing is up to scratch. Here’s a good place to start.
6. Work on Your Social Media 'Influence'
Numbers tend to mean influence on social media (although we all know this isn’t necessarily the case). They certainly give the illusion of influence. And even if we don’t want to become influencers, we do enjoy being around them. So work to develop your social media influence by being more active on social media.
7. Become an Optimist
Studies have shown that optimists not only live longer, but are also more successful (here’s why it pays to be an optimist). If you are optimistic you will also be more positive about your work. Employee engagement is the Holy Grail for most companies, so your engagement will be welcomed by those that matter.
8. Learn How to Negotiate
Negotiation is an essential skill in business: it’s a non-negotiable one, if you like. Negotiation is the way you will get what you want and what you deserve. Few will do you favours in business, so you must learn the language and tactics of successful negotiation: here’s a good place to start.
9. Challenge Yourself
Do something that terrifies you. Whether that’s volunteering to facilitate a meeting of 1,000 people or showcasing a skill in public for the first time. Once you’ve achieved the feat, you’ll feel as though you could conquer the world. It will lead to other opportunities and, as we know, opportunities lead to rewards.
10. Invest in Yourself and in Your Future
You are the only one who can invest in you, so why not start today? Check out some of these classes described in this great article over at The Muse: cheap professional development classes for all.
Investing in yourself shouldn’t be limited to the here and now. It’s also important to invest in your future. Plan for your career development, complete with milestones and timelines. Some of the aforementioned professional development classes will show you how.
Try some of these suggestions and observe for yourself the positive impact on your career. Share any feedback through the comments box below.