At some point in your career you may experience dissatisfaction with your job or where your career is headed. Whether you are bored with your current job, didn't get the promotion you deserved, or no longer think there is a good fit with your current employer—it may be time to consider what's next in your career.
If you ask 20 people what steps you should take to move your career forward, they will probably give you 20 different answers. However, all will agree on these five things you need to do to be successful:
Update your resume. There's nothing worse than stepping out into the job market and finding out your resume is outdated. This could ruin your chances of making a good impression with recruiters or hiring managers. If you have an old-fashioned resume format that doesn't stand up to today's digital standards, or you haven't added your most current accomplishments, you need to update the resume before you begin. You want to be ready when a recruiter or hiring manager is interested in you and asks for your resume.
Check your online footprint. The first place a recruiter or hiring manager will go to check you out is online. Google yourself to see what comes up and check for any digital dirt. Update LinkedIn and other online profiles to reflect your most recent accomplishments and contact information.
Nurture your network. Don't wait until you need your network to connect with people. Keeping a continual line of communication going with your network increases your visibility and develops relationships--even if it just sharing an online article or helping with a referral. You don't always know the extent of your network's connections and how valuable they can be. Stay in touch!
Watch industry trends. When considering a career move, you don't want to be caught off-guard by finding out the company you are thinking of moving to is economically unstable or the industry is being phased out. Research companies and industries that are experiencing growth where you can leverage your experience and talents.
Follow industry influencers. What are the top executives in your field doing? What are their successes and failures? Sometimes watching what successful people are doing can spark new ideas and ways you can present value to potential employers.
What we need to remember is that careers don't roll off an assembly line. To keep from being overwhelmed when it's time to make a career move, put together a concrete plan now. Stay proactive in your career planning and future.