Part 1 of this article yesterday discussed four of 10 career-boosting actions you can take while you are in between jobs. They were:
• Make a habit of affirming yourself;
• Refocus on your big vision;
• Update your resumé; and
• Get a mentor and headhunter.
Part 2 today discusses the remaining six things you can do to help your career:
Audit your references
Your references may have said wonderful things about you two years ago. That doesn’t mean they are still saying such things. They may have lost the enthusiasm they once had when recommending you.
Maintain mutually beneficial relationships with your references. Every relationship, business and personal, must be give-and-take to thrive. Help them out with referrals that benefit them too.
I suggest you ask a friend who owns a business (and who is not known by your references) to call them and pose as a potential client or employer, and ask for their opinion of you. He can tell you what was said.
You may tactfully ask your references to be a little more enthusiastic in recommending you. If your references are lukewarm, you would be wise to replace them with references who sing your praises more highly.
Send surveys to former employers or clients
There are many good reasons to send surveys to former employers or clients, provided you parted on good terms. It shows you truly care about delivering value.
It could help you obtain more work from past employers or clients and/or referrals to new ones. It also helps you offer services that better match your prospective employers’ and clients’ needs.
Make the survey brief and to the point. Ask for input as to how you can better help them. You could also ask them if they know of other firms or departments that could benefit from your services. Thank everyone who responds to your survey.
Get your finances in order
Now is a good time for a complete financial check-up. Seek the help of a competent professional in this area.
Some areas you need to consider are:
• Do you have adequate savings to cover emergencies?
• Do your investments meet your life goals? Is their risk level appropriate for your personality and present life situation? For instance, if you are planning to retire, you may want to reduce your financial risk and maximise security.
• Are you on track to meet your financial goals? Find and plug your financial leaks. Are you paying unnecessary interest and/or other expenses?
Break free from what drags you down
Certain thoughts and people drag you down, adversely affecting your health or career. They make you feel less capable, less powerful, less alive. You need to break free from them.
This may not be easy. Aim to minimise your time invested in negative thoughts and people. Maximise your time with positive influences.
One suggestion many people find helpful is to use positive procrastination to weaken unwanted habits. Put off indulging in what drags you down. Invest time in people and thoughts that build you up instead.
build your Network
The best time to build your network is before you need it. As the proverb goes: “Drill your well before you are thirsty.” Hopefully, you have been building up your network of contacts. If not, it is better late than never.
Make time to attend relevant networking events in your industry. Build the habit of networking everywhere. You never know who you might meet and how much you may be able to help each other.
The overall key to good networking is to be genuine. Here are three more tips:
• Join groups you are keenly interested in. Then become active in them. Don’t join groups simply for the sake of meeting people.
• Be genuinely interested in the people you meet. Talk about what interests them to build rapport.
• It is not about handing out lots of business cards. It is about collecting lots of business cards and arranging follow-up meetings. You need to be able to contact people you meet, rather than wait to hear from them.
By volunteering, you help others and you can also benefit greatly from the experience. Choose to volunteer where you can develop and hone desired skills and where you can forge valuable connections.
Volunteering also helps you to:
• Check out a new occupation, industry or skill;
• Build your credentials and confidence; and
• Garner valuable references and referrals.
Article by Ken A. Haberman. Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ken_A_Haberman