If you’re trying to get ahead at work, it’s easy to focus on the steps you need to take within the four walls of your company. While this is all well and good, there’s also a tonne of things you can do to enhance your career on the outside—that actually have nothing to do with the job you’re doing.
1. Focus on self-development
Okay, so self-development is a pretty broad term, so let’s break it down. Pretty much anything that helps improve your awareness of who you are, develops your talents facilitates employability is considered to be self-development, and this can range from reading books and staying up to date with global events in the news, to listening to podcasts and keeping up with relevant blogs.
It’s important to remember that developing a career isn’t usually just a case of climbing a straight-forward ladder of skill-appropriate opportunity. It’s about growing as a person and expanding your knowledge to become someone that can adapt to different situations and opportunities as and when they arise. Setting time aside each week for some self-development is a great way of enhancing your career.
2. Stay rested and practice self-care
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Rest and relaxation are integral to success, even though it might feel counter-intuitive if you’re wanting to chase those career goals. Having proper, restful downtime is crucial for both productivity and your own mental health, and avoiding burnout is super important in the workplace.
Taking some time out (preferably screen-free) to practice self-care—whatever that looks like to you—whether it’s a bath, a walk or curling up with a book that’s completely unrelated to work, you’ll be able to head back into the office with fresh eyes and a rejuvenated perspective.
3. Volunteer work
It’s a pretty obvious one, but a valuable one nonetheless. Volunteering your time outside of the office can be an invaluable way of picking up new skills, helping out in the community and forming a host of new connections along the way.
Whether you’re donating your time and skills to a nonprofit organisation or helping out in an unrelated field, every volunteering opportunity is the chance to advance your career.
4. Build a personal website
Gone are the days when just a LinkedIn profile and a carefully censored Facebook page will do! A personal website is the perfect side project for people looking to get ahead in their career—whether you’re job hunting or not.
Having all of your information in one place—including a fact-filled about section, a blog to position yourself as a thought leader and details of projects you’ve worked on—can work as an amped-up CV when it comes to getting you a promotion or a new job.
5. Find a mentor
A relationship with a mentor can be one of the most productive ones you can establish outside of the office. Choose someone whose accomplishments and success you admire, that you can spend a bit of time with and run ideas past. Many successful people will have mentors to thank in part for some of their achievements, so are willing to help out and offer advice to the next generation.