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Proactive career management: Nurturing your professional growth

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Ever notice how some houseplants seem to thrive while others struggle, wilting in the forgotten corner of the room? The difference often lies in care. Just like your favourite fiddle leaf fig, your career demands proactive nurturing. This guide equips you with the tools and strategies to transform you into a proactive architect of your dream career. From crafting a compelling online presence to building your professional network, we'll show you how to cultivate a career that thrives, not just survives.

So, grab your metaphorical gardening gloves and let's get started!

Sharpen your resume and online presence

  • Leverage our free template to revamp your resume and ensure it accurately reflects your most recent achievements, skills, and experiences. Consider including a personal summary that succinctly showcases your recent accomplishments. 

  • One of the first things any recruiter or prospective employer will do upon seeing your resume, is look you up on LinkedIn. Regularly optimise your social media profile, making sure they're professional and aligned with your interest, industry and career goals. 

  • Search your name on Google to see what public information is out there. While you may not be able to control the world wide web, consider removing any irrelevant content or making your personal social accounts private.

Become an industry expert

Research your target industry and companies, and stay informed about current trends, regulatory changes, and technological advancements in your field. A great tip is to set up Google Alerts for specific keywords which will trigger an email to your inbox with relevant news articles and highlights.

Network like a pro

Build and nurture your network. Reach out to past colleagues, friends, and recruiters to let them know you're open to new opportunities. Attend industry events and connect with professionals in your field.

Here are some of our favourite networking platforms:

  • Meetup: Free and paid events that cover a range of topics and interests. 

  • Eventbrite business events: This is not just for concert tickets! Navigate to the ‘Business’ section to view the full suite of professional events.

  • The Rebellious Business Network: A free training and online community for entrepreneurs and small business owners that showcase a different Keynote Speaker every week.

  • Virtual 5 O’Clock (V5O): Established during the COVID pandemic, this online community consists of entrepreneurs and even Fortune 500 execs. If you are serious about hobnobbing with thought leaders, this network will cost you a monthly fee but you can attend the weekly virtual ‘Happy Hour’ for free.

  • LinkedIn: We’ve spoken a lot about LinkedIn, and as you can gather, we are extremely invested in the platform. Why? LinkedIn has 1 billion registered users in more than 200 countries around the world. In fact, there are 3 new registrations every second! LinkedIn is one of the oldest social media platforms for business-orientated members so it makes sense that professionals should be using this free tool to their advantage. Explore over 58 million companies, follow the leaders in your field, and join Groups to engage and learn from peers.

Search "chartered accounting" LinkedIn Groups

Know yourself, know your ideal job

Before diving headfirst into a job search frenzy, take a step back to write your ideal job description. This might seem unconventional, but can be an incredibly enlightening exercise that enables you to visualise your next role. By taking stock of your strengths, interests, and areas you want to develop, you gain valuable self-awareness. What tasks energise you? What team environment fosters your best work? How does work interact with your personal life? Translate this vision into a written description, including a title, responsibilities, the desired work culture, and the impact you want to make. This becomes your personal ‘job ad.’

Set up job alerts

Sign up for relevant job boards (LinkedIn, Seek, Indeed, Jora) and industry newsletters to ensure you're notified about promising opportunities as they arise. Even if you are not actively looking, it is always beneficial to passively absorb what’s happening in the job market.

Invest in continuous improvement

  • Develop a learning and development plan with your line manager or HR representative. Often this will start with an assessment in which you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. This will allow for in-depth discussions on how to achieve your medium to long-term career milestones.

  • Once you’ve identified areas for improvement or knowledge gaps, explore online courses (there are plenty of free platforms including LinkedIn Learning), industry publications, or mentors to support your professional growth. 

  • Seek new challenges in your current role by volunteering for additional responsibilities or exploring professional development opportunities offered by your company. This demonstrates initiative and a commitment to growth. 

Strategise and take action

This is the most important step, as often busy lives get in the way and we lose focus on the goal.

  • Create a schedule. Set aside dedicated time each day to focus on YOU. This could include scouring job boards, updating your profile, networking, or staying informed about industry news.

  • Consider working with a recruiter. A skilled recruiter can provide valuable insights into the job market and connect you with exclusive opportunities tailored to your skillset. Add your CV to the FutureYou database or get in contact with a FutureYou specialist today.

Remember, this is an ongoing process. Nurture your career, like you would with your favourite houseplant, a pet, or (for the 90s babies) a Tamagotchi.

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