Hint: It’s not about changing jobs often.
There’s a lot of advice on how to advance your career such as changing jobs, setting goals, managing your time better and more. While these things help, here at Coley Company we see one thing repeatedly while working with companies and candidates that really advance careers—make yourself valuable.
Even though you may be working long hours and putting in extra effort, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are creating value. If you want to take your career to the next level or find a more exciting job, you need to diversify your experience and skills. If you want to advance your career or switch jobs, you’ll have to expand beyond what you are currently doing and the good news is that there are multiple ways to do that. Here’s our best advice on how to expand your skills.
- Wear more hats– strategically.
The phrase “wearing more hats” might make you think that means taking on an unbearable workload or a ton of different tasks. However, the key is to take on more projects that create a rare and desirable skill set, which will automatically increase your value. For example, if you’re a fabric designer, learning and becoming knowledgeable about the manufacturing process can make you stand out. You can leverage these new skills to take on an advanced role or move on to a new job.
Make sure whatever projects you take on either build upon a needed skill in the marketplace or are highly visible and important to the company. This is especially true in larger companies. In smaller companies, it’s easier for key people to see everything you are working on, but in larger companies, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of people and higher-ups may not notice your extra effort unless it’s a project that’s on their radar.
Also, be sure to examine your own current skill sets, you may already have a skill that’s in demand and not realize it. At Coley Company we’ve become experts at identifying unique skills sets and matching people with that corresponding job. Doug Coley, President of Coley Company, says his company has often reached out to candidates who are unaware of a unique skill set they possess and end up placing them with a company that had been searching for that particular skill set.
- Trainings, certifications and professional groups.
Taking additional training or obtaining certifications can also help expand your skill set and let employers or potential job prospects know you are credible in a certain field. On top of expanding your knowledge and giving credibility, it may be a good segway into another area of work you may not have had the opportunity to explore. If you’re worried about the potential cost, check with your employer, companies are often willing to pay for training relating to your job.
- Become an expert in your field.
Many employees are able to execute tasks, but if you are the person people go to for their knowledge it will give you a significant leg up over others and pretty soon you’ll have people knocking at your door for jobs without having to search for them.
- Work on communication skills.
Even if you’ve done all of the things above, if you can’t communicate in a way that showcases your skills, it’s going to be hard to accelerate your career and show your value. A common pitfall in interviews that we see at Coley Company is talking too much, trying to sell too hard, or not selling enough. Make sure to brush up on your interview skills and how to sell yourself without being overbearing. Also, if you haven’t mastered it already, learn to take cues from the other party and watch what they’re saying either subtly or with their body language.
If you want to advance your career, change jobs, or find a role within the Apparel, Textile, or Nonwoven product industries, Coley Company can help you. We have over 25 years of experience leveraging candidates’ unique skills and placing them in new career opportunities. We can guide you by recommending career moves that can maximize your experience. Call or email us today 336-218-6637.