In order to get ahead of the competition and stand out from the rest of the crowd, you need to keep improving yourself. You need to regularly add new attributes to your personal brand so you can keep climbing the success ladder.
Nowadays, it is not enough to only have a college degree and find a job. The real competition starts after you find a job and start working at it. If you don’t have any unique abilities compared to your coworkers, your chances of getting promoted faster decreases substantially. Therefore, you need to keep improving your skills and grow yourself professionally. The more you add to yourself, the more successful you can become.
Below is a list of what you can do to continue advancing your personal brand:
1) Get certified. This is one of the most popular options. There are lots of credible certification programs out there and some of them really help you get ahead of the competition. The most common certifications are CPA, CFA, CISA, PMP, CBAP, Google Certifications, Cisco Certifications, etc. Most companies have tuition programs that encourage employees to get certified.
2) Continue your education. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, you can start taking classes for a Master’s degree. Most universities have evening classes for busy professionals. If you don’t have the time to physically attend a class, you can also consider online degree programs. Some of these online programs are much more affordable compared to traditional programs. See the list of affordable online colleges here.
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3) Attend industry events, seminars and conferences. These are great for following the trends and innovations in your industry as well as network with other professionals in your area. You should always keep yourself up-to-date to stay in the game.
4) Try to work on different tasks at work. If you always work on the same kinds of tasks, you will eventually get bored and won’t be able to move forward in your career. However, if you step up and volunteer to work on different tasks, then you can keep adding new skills to your portfolio.
5) Give back to your community and get involved with non-profit organizations. Being an active member of a non-profit organization will help you improve your leadership and communication skills in addition to expanding your network. Also, it is always rewarding to do something useful for your community.
6) Finally, read, read and read. Read newspapers, magazines, self-improvement books, articles, etc. Basically, read anything you enjoy and expand your vision.
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Ceren Cubukcu is a top 5 bestselling author of Make Your American Dream A Reality: How to Find a Job as an International Student in the United States. She recently founded her consulting business to help more international students find jobs in the US in addition to her self-service digital event ticketing platform, Etkinlik Fabrikam (My Event Factory), to be able to offer her webinars in her home country. You can follow her via Facebook or contact her via www.cerencubukcu.com/contact.