Jun 20, 2017
Decision-making doesn’t always come easy to people and making good choices even less so. However, your ability to make good choices can have a profound impact on the long-term success of your career. The choices you make and the effects that they bring about will reverberate for many years to come. It’s an adage that many successful business leaders adhere to. In fact, according to Dallin Larsen , CEO of Vasayo, “A life of significance is a byproduct of making the ‘best’ choices.” If you’d like to reap the benefits of making good choices for your careers, here are four places you can start. 1. Deciding to Network Networking and making connections stands at the number one spot on Salary.com ’s list of things you can do to advance your career. If you have not decided to make a concerted effort to reach out to potential mentors or opinion leaders in your industry, do that. Not only do you learn how they make business decisions, you also put yourself on their radar. Aside from attending industry events, there is a very simple way to make some connections. Make it a practice to pick up three business cards a day. Put those names into your Rolodex. Once you do, follow up to say “hi” so that your contacts remember you and how you met. It can just be a simple greetings when you follow up. However, to make a real impression, send news articles or industry information that may be of use to the people on your list. 2. Education Factors Making a decision to get more education can be one of the wisest choices you can make toward your career. Typically speaking, people with degrees make up to a half a million or more over the course of their lifetimes than their non-degreed counterparts do. You should also note that education doesn’t always mean that you’re pursuing degrees. You might take a class at community ed or study to get a certification in some sort of technology like the Adobe Suite. All of that will help you in the long run. If you’ve chosen to get more education but don’t know where to start, try looking on jobs in your field on sites like Monster.com or Indeed.com. That shows you what types of skills employers are looking for. Once you know what skills they want, go get them. 3. Volunteering Choosing to volunteer can help you advance your career in ways you might not have anticipated. Aside from giving you some solid ways to use some newly acquired skills, it also puts you in the path of people you wouldn’t meet otherwise. For example, if you’re looking for a mentor, this is a great place to look. You have to be strategic when you employ a decision like this. Think about the industries you want to break into. Is there some organization in the volunteer world that is equivalent to that or that provides a way into the world you want to work in? For example, if you’ve studied art history, can you volunteer at your local museum? Finally, if you are going to commit to volunteering, commit to doing it for a long while, especially if you’re in school. If you volunteer at the same place for three years, that, in many respects, will be the same as working a job for three years. You’ll have built a solid skill set by then and you’ll have a potential list of contacts who have developed a trust in you. 4. Keep Your Resume Current It’s easy to neglect your resume when you get busy, but of all the choices you make, don’t let this be one of them. You never know when the dream job in your field will open up. Having your resume on the ready allows you to apply for that job when it opens up. Granted, you may have to tweak it slightly to fit the job description, but that’s easier than having to do it from scratch. Making good choices (or not) can have long-term consequences for your career. When you’re making career decisions, you need to do so with the long-term consequences in mind. You also need to consider what decisions will give you the most bang for your buck. Deciding to take any or all of the steps on this list is a good place to start when it comes to making career choices.