Serious about your career? Here are five things you should be doing RIGHT NOW

Shall I let you into a secret? Most people don’t invest time and attention into their careers until they’re unhappy at work, stuck-in-a-rut, or between roles. 

And even then they don’t do much other job-hunting.

It’s funny isn’t it? We spend most of our lives at work, yet we leave our careers to chance.

But picture this – you’ve been ‘head-down’ getting on with your job for 20 years. You’re good at what you do, but when it comes to job-hunting you’re not good at selling yourself. And after a few rejections, your confidence also has taken a knock.

Job-hunting becomes a bigger obstacle

You can blame the market or that recruiter, but if you haven’t invested enough skin in the game you’ve got to take some of the blame.

That’s why I insist that my private coaching clients take some responsibility by investing time and energy into their career so it becomes second nature.

As well as getting crystal clear on you your expertise and how you position and sell your expertise to recruiters and directly to companies, always be working on your professional brand.

Here are five things to get you started.

1) Get your CV up to date

Your CV doesn’t need to look pretty just easy to read and understand. That means no heavy paragraphs of content – no one has the time or inclination to plough through that. And no waffle, jargon or buzzwords.

Review, refresh, rewrite and edit it. Keep it up-to-date and ready to send (with a couple of tweaks if necessary).

2) Stand out on LinkedIn

The days of LinkedIn being stuffy and boring are over. Think of your LinkedIn profile like a landing page for your professional profile rather than a place to pop your CV. 

Expand your headline beyond your job title using key-words and sector experience, outline your expertise in the profile, build your network and get involved on the newsfeed.

3) Work on your impact

Do you have an impact in a meeting, interview or conversation? Do you leave a lasting impression (for all the right reasons)?

When a headhunter wants a ‘quick’ call do you try to take them through your whole CV?

Do you feel confident in interviews? How about if it’s an online meeting?

Would you be happy if the CEO of your dream company saw a copy of your CV and cover letter?

If any of those questions make you feel a bit awkward you’ve probably got some homework to do in this area.

4) Have an opinion

When it comes to senior roles and executive recruitment there’s a lot more to it than being qualified to do the job!

The various stages of the recruitment process are to checking out your suitability, credentials and fit against other shortlisted candidates.

And when it comes to that all-important chemistry check (are you one of us?) your opinions will matter.

5) Make a plan

Everyone needs a plan. But can you believe we spend more time planning meals and outfits than we do planning our careers?

Things happen with a plan… holidays, weddings and where we live. Just imagine if we invested more creativity into our careers and work?

Are you ready to invest time and energy into your career?

If so, download my FREE checklist 15 things that every director should be doing for their career right now.

Tracy Short is an executive headhunter and career coach. She’s been guiding and shaping careers and recruiting for companies for more than 20 years.

Prior to setting up her boutique career consultancy, Tracy was Head of Fashion & Luxury Brands at a leading search firm for a decade. And before that she set up and grew the in-house recruitment and training department for a luxury corporation.

Tracy knows what it takes to be successful, and she’s downloaded her ‘insider’ knowledge and experience into career services for you and your career.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe