There are a lot of ways to get ahead in your career.
However, many of the opportunities that will help you advance lie outside your workplace. It’s easy to get caught up in your daily job demands and think all you need to do is work hard and produce great results to get promoted or look good to your next employer. But the truth is that the real magic happens beyond your office’s walls.
Since I’m a big fan of career development, I wanted to share three ways you can grow your career outside of being a rock star at your regular job.
1. Attend networking events
I know this seems obvious, but don’t just go to any networking event. Find one that’s in an industry you love, work in or want to learn more about. Or attend one that’s just for young professionals or senior executives. I regularly attend networking events for pros in my industry and young professionals, including the Public Relations Society of American of San Francisco (PRSA-SF) Second Thursday Mixers and Young Professionals Organization of San Francisco (YPOSF) monthly networking events. You never know who you’re going to meet and if you’re at an event with people who share similar interests, it could lead to friendships, business partnerships or even a new job.
2. Join a Committee
Although you may not think you have the time, I’ve been on a few committees and the benefits outweigh the time commitment. Getting involved in a committee is a great way to hone your skill set, meet new connections and give back to your community, not to mention it looks great on a resume. I’ve been on the marketing committee for the Boy & Girls Clubs of the North Valley and San Francisco, and I’m currently on the communications committee for PRSA-SF. Whatever your talents may be, marketing, event planning, design, finance or writing, getting involved in an organization outside of your own and challenging yourself in a new way will help you get ahead.
3. Start Freelancing
Not everyone can do it, but getting involved in a little freelance work is a great avenue for advancing your career. Not only does it show initiative on a resume, but you also get exposed to different clients and projects you wouldn’t normally get to work on, leading to new and improved skills. I currently work with two clients, AppStem and Clear Creek Healing Center in my spare time. Being able to take the lead and be the expert is not something many of us get to do in our regular jobs, so it’s a great opportunity to share your knowledge and flex your management skills.
It’s hard to make time for your career outside of work, but if you do it will open up a whole new world of possibilities.
How do you grow your career outside of work?