News & Events

Simple Ways To Make Career Progress


Employment & Learning

Most people want to excel in their careers but can feel overwhelmed by the challenge of finding enough time for professional development. But making career progress doesn’t have to involve multiple-hour blocks. Instead, try these simple tips for doing it in under under 60 minutes,

Add to your knowledge base

You’ll never regret investing in yourself. Your ability to adapt and learn is essential to the survival and growth of your career, so make a conscious effort to add to your skillset by reading books, watching educational videos, listening to informative podcasts, and taking continuing education classes. Use your curiosity to seek out new ideas, information, and perspectives, even (and especially) if they differ from your own. This opens your world to new ideas and possibilities, keeps you current with trends in your industry (or the industry you’d like to join), and gives you interesting fodder for chatting up your colleagues and clients. Aim to be a lifelong learner, and you’ll up your knowledge base—and value.

Make clarity your bestie

Spend an hour reviewing and editing your profiles, website, and resume. Ask yourself if they offer an accurate and relevant representation of you or leave people confused and scratching their heads.

Remember, your aim is not to try to be all things to all people (which only makes you a watered-down version no one wants) but to be something specific to a special few. So don’t be afraid to niche down and get hyper-specific about what you do, who and how you serve, and what sets you apart. This will draw the right people to you and send the wrong ones on their way.

By embracing clarity, you’ll do the hard work of simplifying things for your intended audience—your boss, partner, client, prospect, or potential employer— making it easy for them to do business with you.

Challenge yourself to try something new

If you keep doing the same things, you’ll never grow. Get over your fear and jump out of your comfort zone. When you challenge yourself to try something that scares you—leading a pitch to a new client, presenting your department’s quarterly objectives, or asking your boss for more responsibility—you’ll move beyond words to action. And when you successfully master that challenge, you’ll have a newfound confidence. You’ll gain positive attention for your fearlessness and initiative. Plus, your decision to take a leap of faith can be the catalyst for further growth.

Practice self-care

We’re constantly bombarded with messages of hard-charging executives who never sleep and entrepreneurs who proudly “hustle” 24/7. But we rarely hear the ugly aftermath of that go-go attitude: chronic stress, burnout, fizzled relationships, and disease. The truth is this: you can’t pour—or perform—from an empty cup. To make serious career progress, don’t neglect your well-being. You must build in time to recharge your mind, body, and spirit. That means having the self-awareness to know when you’re reaching your limit— and then taking action to push the reset button. By putting yourself first, you can give more to your boss, colleagues, and clients, helping you progress in your career.

Remember, instead of counting the hours, make your hours count for career progress. For more advice on the best ways to make those hours count, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Employment & Learning to connect with our job search program!


Information on our job search programs at the YWCA Employment and Learning Centre can be found at: Employment & Learning

This article was adapted by Shaylyn White. You can view the full original article by Amy Blaschka of Forbes here.