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How to Set Yourself Up for More Career Opportunities

When it comes to starting and building a career, the importance of being versatile cannot be overstated. The current way of the professional world is such that putting yourself into a specific box with regard to your own career can end up being a crucial mistake. Unless you are pursuing a very particular sort of career, such as one as a doctor or mechanical engineer, being as versatile as possible is always a good idea.

That being said, it isn’t always easy to determine the best ways of going about this. Setting yourself up for as many career opportunities as possible can be a challenge. Moreover, going too far and having no specific or designated skills can result in you becoming not quite qualified enough for the sort of jobs you are thinking about for yourself.

The trick is to find the right balance between versatility and specialization. If you are able to crack this code, then you can enjoy a great deal of job security and peace of mind later on in your career.

If you are hoping to set yourself up for multiple career options in your professional life but aren’t quite sure where to begin, here are a few tips that can help you to do just that.

Choose the Right Degree

As with most careers, the best thing that you can do for yourself is choose the right degree for yourself when you attend college. This can be tricky when you are still young and trying to figure out what you even want to do with your life. However, the degree that will help you to make the best use of your personal talents and skills is always one that is worth considering regardless of what you think you want to do as a future career when you are only 18 years old.

Start by thinking about your personal motivations and skills. Once you have a list of things that interest you and that you feel fairly confident in, you can then start looking into specific degrees that have wider applications.

For example, if you are motivated by the desire to help others who are in difficult or even vulnerable situations in their lives due to personal circumstances like mental health or family issues, then perhaps a degree in social work would be right for you. A degree in social work is very versatile and can equip you with skills that can be applied to a variety of career paths.

Be wary of degrees that seem versatile but that are actually too broad in nature. While there are reasons to earn a degree in English or Communications, for instance, such degrees are more useful when coupled with specific minors and concentrations.

Learn to Network

While there is nothing wrong with being a more independent sort of person who would rather get things done on your own, anyone who has been able to find success in their careers will be able to tell you just how important it is to learn how to connect and work with others. This is why if you don’t consider yourself to be a social butterfly, now is the time to work on your networking skills.

The simple truth is that it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, in this day and age to get ahead without support from others. Others within your professional network might play a crucial role, for instance, in you being able to advance your career or learn more about the developments and advancements in your field.

Whether you plan to pursue a career in business, medicine, technology or something else, learning how to network is going to be an important aspect of enjoying more career opportunities on the road ahead.

Know How to Set Goals

Another important thing that is going to become apparent as you seek out more opportunities in your future career is the fact that it is incredibly difficult to get ahead when you don’t know what it is that you are really aiming for. Learning how to set goals is a crucial piece of the puzzle in this regard.

Moreover, knowing how to set goals is about so much more than having a vague idea in your head about success. For instance, simply stating that you want to make a good living for yourself does not equate to a solid professional as such. Rather, you need to create a more visible picture of success for yourself and what success really means to you.

It is also important to make sure that you are setting incremental and short-term goals for yourself in addition to those that are bigger picture in nature. By setting achievable, short-term goals for yourself, you can take things one step at a time as you set yourself up for a career filled with multiple opportunities down the line.

Focus on Professional Skills

In addition to your education and the things that you learn in the classroom, there are also a number of professional skills that you need to focus on in order to make yourself as prepared for career advancement opportunities as possible. Such skills aren’t always specific to a particular field or industry but are rather applicable to a variety of careers.

One such skill that most professionals will need at some point or other is communication. If you don’t have the ability to communicate well, then you won’t likely be able to enjoy the sort or career opportunities that you are hoping for.

Bear in mind the fact that becoming a good communicator is about much more than being able to write and speak proficiently. Instead, you also need to hone your listening skills and develop the ability to understand what others are trying to communicate to you. Mastering two-way communication is a vital part of becoming the sort of professional that is deserving of advancement opportunities.

Aside from having good communication skills, it is also a good idea to work on things like organization and time management, critical thinking, and leadership. These are the sort of professional skills that can set you up for a great deal of success in your future career.

Never Stop Learning

The concept behind enjoying more opportunities throughout the course of your career is one that requires you as a professional to adopt a personal policy of continuous learning. The truth that must always be kept in mind is that the world and most of the industries that operate today are always moving forward and developing. In this sense, the biggest mistake one can make in their career is to assume that they already know it all.

Instead of taking such an approach, you should instead consider yourself to be a perpetual student of sorts. You should always actively be seeking out opportunities to learn more, obtain additional skills, and gain new insights into your industry. With this mentality, you can be ready for new opportunities as and when they arise.

Remember that being the sort of person who never stops learning doesn’t mean that you have to start a collection of university degrees. While there might very well come a time when an advanced degree of some sort would be beneficial to your career advancement, continuous learning is about looking for ways in which you can learn more from your general surroundings.

Make a point out of connecting with and speaking to people in your industry who know more than you. Share your experiences with your peers and ask about theirs. Attending professional development seminars and similar opportunities to learn. Most importantly, read as much as you can about your field.

By continuing to learn throughout the course of your career, you can make yourself far more versatile as a professional and thus more deserving of opportunities.

Seek Out Feedback

Something that many professionals struggle with is the act of seeking out feedback on their performance. No one likes to hear about the ways in which they fall short or aren’t performing as well as they should. However, there is no better way to make yourself a candidate for new opportunities than to seek out feedback in an active manner.

By asking your superior for feedback on a routine basis, you demonstrate the fact that you are always trying to improve. When done the right way, asking for feedback can even show that you have a sense of confidence about yourself as opposed to the lack thereof. When you are able to ask for honest feedback, you show that you know you aren’t perfect but that you are able to accept feedback and grow from it.

While most companies will require evaluations every so often, going out of your way to seek out extra feedback can help you to stand out from the crowd. It can also provide you with the sort of information that can allow you to better gear your efforts and design the right goals for yourself. In the end, you can become the sort of employee that is deserving of advancement opportunities.

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