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It’s so easy to stop developing ourselves professionally the moment we’ve secured a job post-graduation. Yet according to research commissioned by The Straits Times and conducted by Milieu Insights in September 2022, one of the top two concerns of Singaporeans are job security and competition.
This is echoed in another report by communications platform Slack released in October, which reports that Singaporeans prioritise stability and job security over salary when choosing which company to work for.
If maximising your career prospects and finding job stability is important to you, then you should make it a priority to continue growing and developing your career to stay on top of your game. There are many ways to increase employability. But one thing’s for sure, improving your career prospects requires a commitment to your professional growth.
Here are five ways to give your career a boost.
1. Brush up on your soft skills
Soft skills, or non-technical skills, are crucial to improving your career prospects as they are often transferable across various job roles and industries. One of the key soft skills many employers value is communication. Your ability to communicate well with others helps strengthen other capabilities, including conflict resolution, leadership and teamwork.
2. Build your career network
Networking is an effective way to expand your career prospects by building relationships with people in your industry and increasing knowledge within your sector. Attending networking events and making new professional connections can help you stay informed about job opportunities and industry trends, and get referrals and recommendations. Keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date also attracts prospective employers and recruiters, as it provides a quick record of your past career successes.
3. Groom your leadership abilities
Getting leadership experience is an excellent way to advance your career. Sign up for leadership courses or enrol in a leadership development programme and use the experience to show you’re serious about becoming an effective leader. Take advantage of any career development opportunities your employer may offer. Then let your supervisor know when you’re ready to take on additional responsibilities.
4. Seek feedback and mentorship
Asking your manager for constructive feedback is beneficial in learning about which areas to improve. Speak to your supervisor regularly to find out about how you’re doing at work and use this to set new career goals for yourself. You can also seek mentorship from someone more experienced to receive guidance and support to navigate possible career challenges.
5. Take on new challenges
Challenges can come in the form of trying something new, doing volunteer work or even furthering education. Developing your technical skills by taking extra classes or courses increases your marketability and is a great addition to your CV. If you’re looking to break into a new industry, consider volunteer work as a way to gain valuable experience and skills. Take on additional responsibilities and assignments to show your initiative, commitment and potential.
These five ways are undoubtedly helpful in giving your career a push in the right direction. However, the first step to moving the career needle in your favour would be to ask for help more often. We often view this action as a weakness, but asking for help allows you to show leadership, confidence and strength.
Furthermore, asking for help not only helps you to learn quicker, but it also demonstrates transformational leadership skills, according to Forbes, because it sends the message that a leader doesn’t have to be the smartest person in the room.
So don’t be afraid to ask questions at work. It could be that very vital first step to taking your career forward.