Would you rather be a hamster or an otter? The former does nothing much except eat, sleep and keep spinning round the wheel in its cage, while the latter uses its resourcefulness to forage for food and survive in the wilderness.

Don’t be like a hamster at work if you don’t wish to get stuck in a career rut. Things are changing at such an amazing pace that you can’t expect to advance in your career if you continue doing things the same old way.

With growing competition from an international pool of job seekers and the slowdown in the global economy, workers are finding it more difficult to keep their rice bowls intact, let alone fulfil their career aspirations!

So what should you do if you don’t wish to live the lacklustre life of a hamster, but want to swim the distance like the otter? You’ve to start strategising and take concrete steps to enhance your long-term career growth:

Enhance your assets

It pays to continually upgrade skills and increase your knowledge to meet changing job demands, as well as to improve yourself. For instance, if you are in sales and marketing, it’s definitely an asset to possess presentation, negotiation and selling skills. You’ll also be able to score better at a job interview if you have something interesting to say about yourself, even if you aren’t blessed with a sparkling personality, wit or charm.

Make the right pitch

An important career upgrading tool that should not be overlooked is your resume. Its presentation matters as much as its content in “selling your benefits” to a prospective employer. A distinctive resume format gives you the edge and helps you stand out from the competition. Avoid focusing too much on outdated accomplishments or irrelevant information, but flesh out your achievements or the experience, skills and qualifications you’ve gained over the past 10 to 15 years instead.

Mingle and mix

Widening your industry contacts and social circles may open up doors for you at the most opportune time. And what better way to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in your profession than to be a member of associations specific to your field of work?

Act the part

If you want that promotion, impress your bosses. Show them you have the skills and capabilities to shoulder more responsibilities, take on greater challenges and manage workplace conflicts and stress stemming from office politics or personal differences.

Love Your Job

Strive to get the most out of your career, whether you have worked in the same job for years or are a “freshie” in the working world. What’s most important, however, is to ensure you have chosen the right career for yourself, for it’ll be far easier then for success to follow!