1 | No matter your craft - there's always something to add to your resume to make yourself stand out. Get a certification or a license that could give you an advantage over another applicant. Learn a new language. Specializing in your field is important but diversifying your portfolio is equally as impressive.
2 | Speaking of your resume, keeping it up to date at all times will save yourself time in the future. It's more common than not to come across a job opportunity with a deadline to apply too soon for your liking. Every time you start a new job, receive an award, or earn a certificate, add it to your resume immediately. That way you always have a current resume ready for a quick application.
3 | This tip is my favorite because it can add so much to your career. Find a mentor - someone currently in a position or retired from a position you would love to pursue. Arrange routine meeting times to pick their brain, absorb some of their experiences, and network. A good mentor will appreciate your desire to advance and will be willing to share their own tips. This is a great tip for anything you're trying to achieve in life, career-based or otherwise.
4 | Using your strengths to your advantage is a bit of a no brainer - but what I'm really saying here is when you're trying to advance your career, take on projects that you know will enhance your portfolio. Working on assignments that exaggerate your weaknesses, definitely isn't flattering - however this does give you the change to pull in resources. Knowing when to lean on others gives them a change to flex their muscles and you still get the job done. Just give credit where credit is due.
5 | An opportunity, a raise, a benefit, a responsibility - don't be afraid to ask for them. If you want to try your hand at it or have an idea that could help the workplace, ask for the chance to make it happen. If you want to continue your education or go to a convention but need help financially, ask for it. You've heard this before, but the worse they can say is no and it never hurts to ask. It may take some research or a presentation, but if it could be beneficial to your company and you, the extra work could be worth it.
*I'm not a career coach. I'm just giving advice from one professional to another, sharing things that work for me.
**The photo of the awesome women is from Ari Seth Cohen, an artist that shares savvy seniors who succeed at living full lives regardless of their age.