Top 3 Professional Career Development Tips from a Career Coach

I asked Career Coach Jen  (aka Jennifer Anderson) to share her top 3 tips for career development. These are her big-picture strategies for a healthy, happy, upwardly-mobile career.

Two of her tips are career coach standards, but the third was a bit of a surprise for me. Take a look and tell me what you think. Are you on point in each of these areas? Which of these items could you improve?

Here’s what Coach Jen had to say:

1. Have your personal brand nailed down, first and foremost

If you don’t know your personal brand, you’re hurting your career.

The reality is that when you’re clear about your brand, you’ll be clearer when communicating with people about where you want your career to go. If you’re not clear about your personal brand, it’s very hard for people to know who you are, what you stand for, and where they can make a difference in your career.

2. Network, network, network

I’m often asked what can be done to grow your career and I seriously think that getting involved in networking organizations is key. The exposure to interesting people can be a great way to develop connections and opportunities to serve.

Too often I coach with people who haven’t done a good job of keeping in touch with their network, so when it comes time to make a job change, they find themselves stuck with applying online for positions. So much better to continually nurture your network, then apply for positions where you have a personal connection.

So, how do you network?

  1. Find a networking organization that aligns with your industry or trade.
  2. Introduce yourself to the current leaders and members.
  3. Regularly attend the networking events and find opportunities to serve and contribute.
  4. Each time you make a connection, contact that person on LinkedIn. Then arrange ongoing follow-up contacts.

3. Express gratitude often and genuinely

Mom was right when she said to always say “please” and “thank you.” Gratitude is a great way to genuinely stay connected with people who are in your network.

For example, co-workers are in your “network.” How do you meaningfully communicate your appreciation when they help you?

When someone makes an introduction that helps you with your job search, how do you express thanks to them?

When a customer offers you the privilege of doing business with them, how do you show your gratitude?

There are many ways to say “thank you,” so don’t stress over the right way to do it. Just focus on expressions of gratitude in way that is natural to your style. People will appreciate that you’ve gone the extra mile and they’ll remember it… those are awesome deposits in your relationship bank accounts!

At Upword Resume, we maintain connections with partnerships with recruiters, hiring pros, and coaches like Jen to stay current on what works (and what doesn’t) in the real-world job market.