Creative Ways to Advance Your Career This Summer

Liz King

Summer is here, and it is one of the best times to improve upon yourself and possibly advance your career. There are a variety of avenues, in which a person can do so. Options include independent training, becoming involved in company events, and learning a new language. Managers appreciate an employee that takes initiative and is a go-getter.

Independent training demonstrates an employee’s inclination to learn more and grow professionally. Staying current with industry trends or learning a new software, are excellent ways for an employee to improve his/her skillset. First, check out the company intranet. ACS Group has recently revamped theirs, renaming it MyACS. Review different links and see what options are available. If there are not specific sites for training libraries, browse company news and blogs. This will allow an employee to stay knowledgeable of recent events and participate in conversations, with informative dialogue. Second, register with a staffing agency like Robert Half or similar. I did so 3 years ago, and it was a great decision. Robert Half offers a training library to current and potential candidates. The library provides access to over 2000 different types of software, videos, and digital books. Topics include Microsoft products, programming, strategic business, marketing, public speaking and etc. Periodically, I will check the library and see if there are new lessons applicable to project management. It is a clever way to obtain more skills and show them off during your next project or assigned task!

Company events can offer two different options for growing your career. The first option is simple: networking. The old saying, “It’s not what you know but who you know” holds true. In a world, captivated by social media, followers, and likes; it is important to rub elbows with the right people. One phone call or email from the right person can elevate an employee’s career in the blink of an eye. The second option is willingness to participate in company events. Employees should not just attend an event; employees should find out if they can be of service. Is help required with the setup of the event? Is there a decorating or food committee, that an employee could be a part of? By signing up and helping to organize the event, it demonstrates that an employee takes initiative and is a team player. Someone is always watching, and it could be your manager!

Learning a new language is easier said than done, depending on the language. However, there is no better way to raise your personal stock, than by learning a new language. This demonstrates dedication, time management, and a hunger to better yourself. Adding a new language to your resume could definitely advance your career. In the US, learning multiple languages is not encouraged, so some people do not bother. Overseas, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, it is the norm to speak multiple languages. We need to make that our norm as well. People have a different level of respect for you if you can speak another language or attempt to at least hold a conversation. By doing so, you are letting people know that you are cognizant of another culture. Also, there are some jobs that require a person to be fluent in another language. Find a local language school, or buy some language software like Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, or Babbel. If money is a concern, download the duoLingo app (I personally LOVE) and check out YouTube for videos. Adding a language to your repertoire is always a good idea!

I have listed a few different ways to obtain knowledge, network, and better an employee’s skill set. There are other ways to advance your career, such a joining a professional organization, volunteering, and taking a class online or onsite a college. Surprise your team lead or manager. Present your new talents or language in the next team meeting or one-on-one. After you display what you are worth, watch the magic happen!