There is a cycle of mediocrity. Work. Sleep. Repeat. It is the way it is because it’s always been done this way. Too often, when it comes to driving your career, you let opportunity slide because you don’t recognize it – or you do – and simply choose not to capitalize.
Maybe there is uneasiness at work or home. Maybe you are amidst a big project or turning around a challenged program or department. For most people, the response is to retreat to comfort; routine, rather than establishing a simple plan.
You are not most people.
You’re willing to invest – time and energy – in actions that yield results. Here are 4 quick changes you can institute to gain traction and build momentum:
Change your routine. Simple changes can help shift your perspective. Get up an hour earlier and go for a walk before you jump into the day. Add 10 extra minutes to your gym time. Take the stairs or park at the opposite end of the parking lot. If you usually cook at home, go out. If you eat out a lot, stay in and try a new recipe. When you make minor changes, you can find inspiration, and seeing how other people manage their routines can be rejuvenating.
Commit to structure. Calendars, reminders, alerts, and notifications are just noise and distraction if you don’t use your tools effectively. Allocate time every day for the little things you never seem to do. If you had a great conversation with a former colleague today, schedule time to follow up with that person in a few weeks (or sooner if there was some other call to action). Blocking out time allows you to consider items beyond the urgency of the day and helps you to squeeze in a few extra activities that could be the crucial elements that accelerate your career.
Clean up your resume and profiles. Squeezing a career onto a page or two is never easy. Focus on the relevancy of your specialized skills and experience. Avoid listing job responsibilities and focus on the impact you made in each role. Think about what a potential employer would find important – sales gains, cost savings, surges in productivity and efficiency. Use your resume as the foundation of your LinkedIn profile. [Learn more: Resume Writing Services]
There’s no quicker way to say, “Hey, look at me” than with a fresh profile picture. Try a close to mid-range distance, and a 3/4 facial view (45° angle to the camera) with a non-distracting background.
Articulate your passion, don’t just say it. Every candidate thinks he/she is the greatest. Confidence is important in job search, but confidence can easily be mistaken for arrogance. Often, overconfidence dissipates over the course of an interview when limits are revealed. The best way to overcome interviewing hurdles is to provide decisive answers. Be very clear when you share your successes and failures, and make sure you talk about what you learned, and how you’ve been able to apply those experiences in the workplace.
Break the cycle of mediocrity. Don’t worry about being perfect, just get started.