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It’s 2020, the year you become unstuck at work and your career takes wings and soars like an eagle! At least that’s the goal but there is only one problem … you’re not sure what to do to move your career forward and do work that makes you happier and wealthier.

Monthly job growth in 2020 is expected to average around 150,000 jobs per month in the United States. To help you capitalize on these new opportunities, we’ve prepared a list of the top 20 career tips that our clients have used to gain higher paying jobs and positions where they felt valued and happier. The good news is that you do not need to do all 20 of these tips to achieve your career goals because many of our clients have only employed one or two of the items on the list before landing a new job.

1. Create a Career Vision Plan — Don’t just settle for any job, do work that is meaningful to you. Start with being clear about what you want and what you don’t want in a career. Free career vision plan templates are great tools for writing your vision and for setting SMART goals.

2. Update Your Resume — One of the best career advice I received was to update my resume each year and every two years post it on the job boards. This one practice landed me my first six-figure position! Even if you’re not officially in the job market, by updating your resume and circulating it annually allows you to keep up with what your industry is looking for in top talent and it keeps you in a position of readiness if you needed to share your resume quickly. If you need a professional resume template, check out these free templates.

3. Update Your LinkedIn Profile — Make sure your LinkedIn profile has a professional picture of you and your most relevant qualifications.

4. Network in Your Industry — If you want to move up the ladder in your existing company, network within your current organization. If you want to move up the ladder but with a different company, network with an outside professional organization or join an association in your field to connect with decision-makers.

5. Create an Elevator Pitch — To network successfully or to start a brief conversation with an executive at your company, the ability to make a good first impression starts with your personal introduction. A great elevator pitch is brief, easy to understand, compelling, relevant, and authentic.

6. Get A Mentor or Coach or Sponsor — The right mentor, coach, or sponsor will help you to accelerate your career growth. Employees with a mentor, coach, or sponsor were promoted five times more often than people who didn’t have mentors, according to a study done by Sun Microsystems. Mentors can provide valuable career advice, speak your name in rooms you haven’t made it to yet, or help you to think about your goals and strategies differently.

7. Take Courses that Advance Your Soft Skills — We’re in the age of technology but soft skills, according to LinkedIn, are still and will continue to be in demand. Soft skills such as emotional intelligence and executive presence will help to transform your career. Many of these courses are offered online and you can take them from the comfort of your home.

8. Become a Lifelong Student — Reading books, listening to audio training, attending conferences and workshops are ways you can continue to develop yourself professionally without breaking the bank. One great book I recommend on how to navigate your career is ReCalibrate! Navigating the Job Market with Confidence.

9. Show Empathy — Treat others as valued human beings. Do this by asking thoughtful questions that foster a deeper connection. Remember the saying, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

10. Take your Boss out to Lunch — Don’t wait for formal meetings to connect with your boss. Invite your boss out to lunch, for a cup of coffee, or simply stop by her office and say hello. The key is to build a connection with your boss that is not based on work performance but rather on relationship.

11. Volunteer to take on more Responsibilities in your Current Position — This is one of the fastest ways to increase your visibility within your current company with senior leaders. Volunteering to work on new projects can open new doors and opportunities for you.

12. Build Relationships — Strengthening relationships with co-workers inspires better work environments. Not building solid work relationships can cause you not to get the promotion you’ve worked so hard to get. To grow your work relationships, focus on these two components — respect and trust.

13. Negotiate your Compensation or Title — It is totally professional to negotiate your salary and title. Americans could be bringing home $7,500 per year more than their current annual base salary, according to a study done by Glassdoor. Therefore, failing to negotiate your salary can cost you up to $600,000 over the course of your career. When you do negotiate your salary or title, make sure your ask is in alignment with your overall career vision and strategy. Keep in mind that successful negotiation is based on how well you articulate your value and the benefit of the change to the employer. Want to know your market worth? Checkout the Know Your Worth tool.

14. Ask for Feedback — Don’t wait for formal review time to get feedback from your boss, peers, and coworkers. Develop a practice of asking for feedback immediately at the end of a major project.

15. Dress for Success — Dress for the job you desire, not the job you have.

16. Stay Healthy — Although Federal laws prohibit the discrimination of hiring based on weight, health, and other factors, unconscious bias does exist. I know, like you know that it should not happen, but it does. One way to manage this unconscious bias is to portray the picture of good health.

17. Find Areas Where You can add Value to the Company — Does your company have a volunteer initiative or a cause it supports? If yes, consider volunteering your talent and service on these non-company initiatives.

18. Display Positive Body Language — “Greater than 90% of what we convey has nothing to do with what we say,“ John C. Maxwell. John’s statement addresses the fact that our facial expressions, voice tone, and hand gestures, communicates way more than our spoken words. Here’re 10 powerful body language tips you should know.

19. Become a Better Leader — Leadership is influence; not a title. Be that person in the office that others want to work with, go to for support, and look to for new ideas and innovative thoughts. Online leadership development programs are strong resources for growing and developing your leadership skills.

20. Own your Career — See your career as your business and own it. It is up to you to manage your career. Instead of waiting for your leaders to recognize your good works and promote you, ask for the promotion and explore new opportunities.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — Yvette Gavin

I am the founder of Yvette Gavin Consulting-a personal development company designed to help businesses develop whole-person leaders and to help individuals elevate their careers through whole-person leadership principles. Through my company I deliver corporate training courses, keynote speeches and executive coaching services. I host Career Conversations, which are informal conversations around career-related topics. I’m completing a master’s in leadership and have over 20 years of corporate-level leadership experience. During my playtime, I enjoy traveling with family, cooking fancy meals, and reading the latest leadership or spiritual-based books.

I help businesses develop whole-person leaders & individuals to elevate their careers through whole-person leadership principles. Training, speaking, coaching!

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