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July 6, 2015
Up Your Career, One Step at a Time
 
You've graduated college, landed a decent job with room for advancement, and are satisfied with your pay. So now what?

Unfortunately, you can't just coast along, even if you're not looking to get promoted right away. Nowadays, people need to continue investing in themselves in order to simply keep their current job.

Also, just because you're satisfied with your job right now doesn't mean you will be in a few years.

As a general rule of thumb, you should look to improve your skill sets on a yearly basis, at a minimum.

The article "How to invest in your career" shares tips from career experts on what you can do to invest in your career.

The first tip is easy — you need to have a plan in place.

Ask yourself where you see yourself years down the line, what skills you're good at, what you enjoy doing in your free time, and where you see yourself working (in an office or from home?).

Are you currently doing something you're good at and that you enjoy?

If so, keep improving those skills. If not, you may want to reevaluate your chosen career path or figure out a way to make it more accommodating to your skills and your desires.

Tips on How to Improve Your Career
After you've made a plan and decided how you're going to get there, there are other things you can do improve yourself and grow your career.

Tips on what you can do include:
  • Furthuring your education. Taking a class or going back to school will never be a bad decision. If one day you hope to run your own small business, consider taking a course on entry-level business accounting, marketing tactics, or how to grow a business. If you have a bachelor's degree, consider going back to school to get your master's degree. The more educated you are, the further you'll be able to go in your career. Plus, it's a great way to build connections with like-minded individuals.
  • Going the extra mile at your current job. Even if your current job isn't your dream job, it's always good to go the extra mile and take on tasks in addition to your regular work. This will set you apart from everyone else. It shows your boss that you care about the company and want it to succeed, it sets a good example for other employees, and it puts you at the top of the list when it comes to getting a promotion or a raise.
  • Building up your professional network. Use social media platforms to reach out to other professionals in your line of work and consider attending networking meetings once a month. It only takes one connection to advance your career, land your dream job, or get on the path you want to be on. Find a few people who are where you want to be and talk with them about what they did to get there. Take their advice to heart and apply it to your own life and situation.
Finally, focus on where you want to be long-term and take steps each and every day to get yourself there. In one year, will you look back and wish you took the initiative today?

Don't wait for opportunities, but instead create your own.

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Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ with her husband and two daughters. She's passionate about writing, traveling, cooking and spending time with her family. Her writing topics include food and nutrition, travel, personal finance and small business. Sites she writes for include ripoffreport.com and those discussing college degrees.
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