13 Career Training Strategies for Greater Success
Whether you are a manager, an entrepreneur or looking for work, everyone needs career training. Truly effective individuals are constantly looking for career strategies to level-up their success. In this career training guide I will list my top strategies for any professional.
What is Career Development?
Career development is how you manage work decisions, personal goals, education and professional transitions to achieve life balance and success. It’s not just your job that goes into your career development. Many factors can and should come into play:
- Job Benefits
- Professional Associations
- Mastermind Groups
- Retirement Accounts
What’s the Difference Between a Job and a Career?
The difference between a job and a career is that a job is something you do simply to earn money. A career is working to formulate a plan so you have a series of connected employment opportunities that build upon each other.
Typically, jobs are less impactful overall. This can be both positive and negative —you might be able to dedicate less time and mental space to a job. Your job can “stay at the office” and you don’t have to worry about it on nights and weekends. However, a job might not leave you fulfilled. It might not contribute to your overall future goals.
A career can be more impactful because it takes more effort. A career needs to be stoked, worked at, and maintained. You might need to do things beyond your actual place of work, such as joining business groups or associations. You might need to attend additional career training, or obtain certifications or new skills. Again, this is both positive and negative. A career might be more work overall, but it might mean your work matters more and pays off in the long run.
How can you turn your job into a career? How can you make your career a career you love? Here’s my career training guide below.
Career Strategy #1: Do You Want to Develop Your Career?
Career training is a lot of work. You have to think big and long-term. Ask yourself these questions before you get started down the career training path to make sure your path is at least moving in the right direction. Take some time to answer these career development questions:
- Do you wake up in the morning excited to tackle the day?
- Do you dread Mondays?
- Do you feel fulfilled in your current role?
- Is there a profession you’ve always wanted to try?
- Is there a skill you have been wanting to add to your resume?
Did you answer yes to any of the above career training questions? Then read on…
Career Strategy #2: How to Be Happy At Work
Are you happy at work? You should be! Let’s use the data to find out how you can be. The annual Society for Human Resource Management conference conducted a massive survey on employee engagement. They wanted to know which factors are most important for work happiness and engagement. Read the most important factors here.
Career Strategy #3: Hack Your Resume
To be a great manager you have to hone your own influence. This is done a few different ways. First, you are contagious. Your moods, ideas and feelings are contagious and can affect your team (in both good and bad. See the video to see how:
Need to get yourself psyched up before a meeting? Need to make sure you are positively contagious? You also might try incorporating one of our pre-performance rituals into your prep routine.
Career Strategy #4: Know How to Sell Yourself
Even if you are not in sales, you should know how to sell. If you think about it, we are constantly selling. Selling our ideas. Selling our products. Selling our team. Heck, if you are married like me, you even have to sell your ideas to your spouse when you disagree! (“Yes, I want to get sushi again!”). One of the best career training skills you can have is learning the science of sales.
Career Strategy #5: Interview Tips
You never know where your career path will take you. So, some of the best career training you can have is learning interview strategies. Keep these interview tips in your back pocket. You can use these whether you are the interviewee OR if you are the interviewer!
- The body language you should use in an interview.
- The 10 best interview questions to ask or prepare for.
- Best colors to wear to work based on your mood.
Career Strategy #6: Build Your Network
As you grow your career you will meet more and more interesting people. How will you connect with them? Stay in touch? Leverage your network? Your network is a major career asset because it can give you job insurance in case of hard times and job flexibility if you want to jump ship and need some new contacts.
Really want to build your network? Check out my book Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People for a complete guide on how to level-up your relationships.
Really want to build your network? Check out my book Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People for a complete guide on how to level-up your relationships. And while you’re at it, learn to read secret body language cues in my newest book, Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication.
Career Strategy #7: Alternatives to College
One of the best ways to develop your career is to get more education. But does it have to be college? No! There are ways you can be a superstar at work without having to go back to school. Here are some ideas:
- Learn to speak another language.
- 7 career standout strategies to try that do not require a university education.
- Get certified in a skill, such as body language, consulting or programming.
- Start a professional development group, such as a local MeetUp in your industry or Toastmasters at your company.
Career Strategy #8: Be a Meeting Master
Throughout your career you are going to attend a lot of meetings. One estimate is that if you’re a middle manager, you spend about 35 percent of your time in meetings. If you’re in upper management, you spend about 50 percent of your time in meetings! That’s half of your time. Are you spending it well? Here are some of my essential meeting tips:
- Do one of our eight meeting icebreakers to warm up your team right!
- Where should you sit at at a conference table? Here’s some science of where to sit in a meeting and some recommendations on how to set-up a meeting seating if you are the meeting planner.
- Increase your influence before your next meeting — you need to sell your ideas to your team and make sure what you say is heard.
Career Strategy #9: Master Your People Skills
There is only one universal career skill — no matter what your career, niche, industry or title you will need it: Interpersonal Intelligence. Understanding and dealing with people is essential for getting ahead, no matter your career goals. This is great news — investing in your people skills and working on your interpersonal intelligence creates career insurance.The higher your interpersonal intelligence, and the better your soft skills, the more smooth your career will go. People skills help you negotiate for a raise, make new contacts, build your network, schmooze with the boss, sell your ideas, pitch yourself….the list is long. I wish we learned people skills in school — but now we have something even better:
Career Strategy #10: Negotiate for Your Raise
At some point you will have earned a raise or promotion. Deserving a raise is only half the battle — how do you ask for one? The first big hurdle is getting over your own fear! It’s hard to ask for what you are worth. Especially if you have any Impostor Syndrome. The next is to really dive into how to ask for a raise and correctly approach your boss.
Career Strategy #11: Public Speaking Tips
More and more jobs are requiring some kind of public speaking. Public speaking often happens from a stage, but it doesn’t have to! Making a toast at a holiday party, leading a team video call or even speaking up at a meeting all count as forms of public speaking. Are you prepared if the boss asks you to present an idea at his board meeting? Would you be able to make an impromptu speech about your new team member if you had to? If not, you should beef up your public speaking prowess!
Career Strategy #12: Shortcuts to Success
I do believe there are some shortcuts to success. I have used them myself and they work. Want to get a little creative with your career? Then I have some ideas for you.
- Learn to be indispensable at work. These tips help you get ahead in any industry.
- Pivot the job you have to the job you love. How can you stay where you are, but love it more? Hack your job!
- Hack the success ladder. If you think of your career like a series of steps, is there a way to skip a few? With the right concerted effort–yes!
Career Strategy #13: Decode Your Boss
Unless you’re the boss, you always will have to be on the lookout for your boss’s bad moods! (They are contagious.) It’s extremely important you know the ins and outs of your boss’s personality so you can do what I call, managing up. This is an essential career training everyone should have.
Further Reading On Career Training Skills
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