We talk a lot about being ready when the opportunity arises. Are you ready for the next big thing?
Below is an edited version of The Memo's "Always Ready" Career Toolkit, which originally appeared in September 2016.
by: The Memo Staff
How ready are you for your next big career opportunity? If the person who could change your life offered you a shot at your dream career right now, would you be ready?
You need to be prepared for what comes next, even if you aren’t certain what that next opportunity looks like.
Here are a few tips to make sure you #stayready:
Keep a Fresh Resume:
Truth time: How up to date is your resume?
If you have been actively seeking a new career opportunity, your resume is likely polished, and ready to send. However, if you aren’t actively looking for a new job, the phrase “I have an opportunity I think you would be a great fit for - just send me a copy of your resume” might fill you with dread.
Update early, update often: Keep track of key accomplishments as they happen. Add an appointment on your calendar, perhaps once a quarter, to update and polish your resume. Do the same with your LinkedIn profile. Your future self will thank you.
References and Networking:
Who are the people in your life that are your advocates? Who are the people in your professional circle that would be willing to vouch for your awesomeness? Make sure you know who these people are, and stay connected to them.
Also make sure you are working on your networking skills consistently. You never know if the next person you meet could be the missing link to your next opportunity. If you don’t currently network, challenge yourself to attend at least one networking event in the next month.
Once you’ve found your network and your cheerleaders, make sure you are also a cheerleader and a network builder for others. #payitforward
Certificates, Continuing Education, and Soft Skills:
Think about what skills you lack now that your future self would thank you for picking up.
For example, if you eventually want to get a career in tech, but you have no relevant tech skills, now is the time to start learning them. There are many online resources (i.e.Udemy, Codecademy, Coursera, university web sites, etc.) that will let you learn new skills or get online certificates in your spare time. Many of them are free!
In addition to hard skills, being ready for your next opportunity also means cultivating soft skills and dropping bad habits. Maybe you have been meaning to work on your communication skills, or you wish you were more punctual. Start the work today: choose one conversation and be intentional about communicating more effectively and concisely. Promise yourself you’ll be 15 minutes early to your next appointment (bring a book to keep yourself occupied while you wait).
Follow the tips above to stay #careerready. Let us know what other things you do to stay up-to-date and ready for your next opportunity! If you need some help staying ready, think about joining our Memo In A Box subscription service.