Independence Day is creeping up on us all this summer, which means we already have six months of 2019 under our belt… Crazy, right? This seems like a firecrackin’ time to do some self-reflecting on your career and your career independence. Career independence is the ability to be in charge of your own career, goals, and dreams. In honor of this beautiful day, the land of the free, and the home of the brave, here are ten tips to achieve career independence.
1. The first thing you can do to establish career independence is always to have your resume updated. An amazing opportunity can come up at the most random times and you want to make sure you’re prepared. You should also double-check that your LinkedIn profile matches with your resume and your profile picture is recent and professional.
2. Turn that television off! No Netflix, no Hulu, no Amazon Prime. Instead, read a book. There are so many benefits, such as, improving your memory, reducing stress, expanding your vocabulary, and improving your overall knowledge. And on the other end, watching television is bad for your brain and your health. If you don’t know where to start, grab a career book and read it! Reading career books can spark creativity and energy. It can also motivate you to try new things that could up your career game and can change your outlook on where you’re at in your professional life.
3. Write down all your career experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Keeping them in a journal is a great way to learn from your experiences and it helps to see what you are doing well and what you can be doing better at. You are your own greatest critic, so let’s make it constructive criticism!
4. Being confident and comfortable with yourself is easier said than done, but it’s so important, especially in the professional world. Confidence is an attractive quality to have; even more so when you’re working a business deal or hiring someone new. We are attracted to the people who are enthusiastic about their skills and knowledge because we know they can handle whatever we throw at them without having to “hold their hand”. Lastly, think about it this way: if you don’t appreciate yourself, then why should others?
5. Don’t get confidence confused with your ego. In fact, leave your ego at the door. No one likes a boaster who thinks they are too good for everyone. It not only is annoying, but it’s hard to work alongside them.
6. If you ever get bored with your job, you have two choices and you need to decide for yourself what you’re going to do about it: quit your job and move on, or learn how to fall back in love with your job. For you to establish career independence, you must choose one. If you choose the latter, a couple of things to try are learning something new, taking more breaks throughout the day, starting a side hustle, or reflecting back on what it was like before you started the position – a little nostalgia can go a long way. However, if you’ve decided it’s time for a new job, allow yourself some time to apply for jobs and have interviews before you quit. That way you won’t be in financial trouble.
7. Keep your expertise up to date. If you have skills from a previous position that you aren’t using in your current role, take some online courses to refresh your mind. If you have any certifications or credentials, keep them up to date.
8. Knowledge is never-ending. There are always new things to learn and excel at. Take the time to do so by watching videos, reading articles and books, and taking online courses. Technology is changing every day so why not stay all caught up with the latest trends?!
9. Stop. Networking. Keep in touch with old coworkers by asking them out for coffee or lunch. Down the road, they could be the ones to assist you in getting your dream job. Also, stay connected with all your old and current coworkers by following them on LinkedIn, it’s a great tool to use when reconnecting!
10. Are you subscribed to any streaming services or monthly clubs that you don’t use anymore? Cancel them! According to an analysis by Waterstone Group, a management consulting firm for tech companies, the respondents spend more than $237.33 a month on subscription services. The respondents guessed they spend, on average, $111.61 a month. That’s a big gap! Clean up your expenses by canceling the ones you don’t use. Your bank account will thank you later!
It will take some real reflecting on your professional life to achieve career independence, but there is no better time than the present, or on Independence Day! We hope your Fourth of July is filled with lots of yummy food, bangin’ fireworks, and fun!