The New Year is a great time for self-improvement. Along with your personal goals, ManpowerGroup South Africa’s Managing Director Lyndy van den Barselaar, suggests that you include ways to keep learning to enhance your abilities, boost your job prospects and get more accomplished in your current role.
“Besides focusing on skills development and learnability, there are other easy ways that job seekers can dedicate time to reaching their career goals in the short term,” she says. Van den Barselaar provides the following tips for those looking to improve their career outlook in 2020.
Put planning on your calendar - Just as you have to make exercising a priority by setting time aside, you need to book planning for your future career on your calendar.
“Set aside 30 minutes of undisturbed time and write down all the things you want to accomplish in your work-life. Do this exercise once a month to check in on your short and long-term goals. Putting these goals down on paper will ensure you remain focused on what is important to you, and keep you moving towards these goals,” she says.
Optimise your CV – As the New Year starts take the time to review your CV and consider ways to optimise it for the role/s you are looking to fulfil. This could include developing a video-based visual CV, syncing your CV with your LinkedIn profile, digitising your CV or even simply optimising it with the right keywords.
Improve your communication skills - With the rise of social media and texting, communication is becoming more casual even in situations where formal communication is required.
“When you take a look at the greatest leaders, one of the traits they possess is the ability to communicate effectively. The good news is that ‘soft’ skills like communication and social skills can be developed and nurtured. Take the initiative to work on these skills, as they are often considerably important to potential employers,” says van den Barselaar.
Become a mentor - Being a mentor can go a long way in developing your own leadership and communication skills. If you want to be a mentor, finding the right mentee is a lot like the other side of the equation. Network and talk to key people in your company, educational institution or community about the type of person you would like to mentor – and be specific.
“As you transfer your skills and experience to a developing talent within your organisation, you are sure to learn important lessons about yourself and your career path while making a difference to someone else’s. This is a win-win situation,” says van den Barselaar.
“As the New Year begins, remember to pay close attention to your specific goals as a professional and take smalls steps to reach these each day. Small steps lead to big progress in the long run,” concludes van den Barselaar.