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5 Ways To Avoid Career Stagnation After Landing Your First Job

After landing the much talked about first job, many people tend to go into a “slumber”. This is generally attributed to the countless ups one faces in the job search process.  Getting lazy around a job that makes you ‘feel comfortable’ can happen quite unconsciously.

Whether you have just got the job or already been working for some time, it’s never too late to boost your career. The discomforting question on your mind now is, “how can I not let my career stagnate?” Here’re 5 ways to guide you!

  • Stick to your career mission

Everyone has a career mission – whether working or not. If you don’t have one, it’s good to know you needed it yesterday. In spite of the fact that people have career missions, they often times struggle to keep up with them. Do they set the wrong missions? Are they just lazy to keep on track? Or are they just over ambitious?

careers

Ideally, your career mission is who you want to be. So one sure thing you have to do to keep your career on track is sticking to your career mission. There are several ways to stick to their career missions. The first and easiest is going through it occasionally. This keeps it ringing in your mind and just in case there’s anything you are doing that’s not in line with it, then you can easily detect.

  • Take on career development opportunities

Jesse Iztzler once said, “If you want the most reward, you have to take the most risk.” No one knows how far you want your career to go – apart from you. But one thing should be clear that the farther you want your career to advance, the more the effort.

Opportunities are relative depending on what industry or situation you are in. But one thing is certain, opportunities are there. If you are not actively seeking and creating them, you’re actually exposing your career to more serious risks in the long term.

Just to clarify this, one should only take on an opportunity only if the possible reward outweighs the possible downside. In other words, the reward should logically justify the risk. There are a number of risks one can take to advance their careers. Some examples include; Freelance writing, internships, apprenticeships, volunteering, starting a side business etc. This is not an exhausted list of what opportunities one can take on. But just as it’s stressed up, the risk to be taken should depend on your industry, situation or the reward – don’t just take on any.

  • Network

There are people that work at a company and the only contacts they have are for those in their section or department. This is dangerous to your career!  Of course you’ll never know when one’s services will come in handy until you need them. But by then it will be too late – so why not start now? Companies always have a diverse range of people. From mentors to future business partners or clients. You can leave your current company but you won’t leave the people behind.

If you haven’t yet networked within your company, then start from within and gradually expand to the outside. This can be easily done at the parties or retreats. Networking with the people outside your company will easier be done by attending events or joining groups like entrepreneurship clubs, investment clubs or SACCOS.

 

  • Never stop learning

People that have just completed studies tend to temporarily freeze learning. They often times pay a deaf ear to any opportunities that come knocking at that time – even the good ones. This is career threatening given that we are in a fast changing world where in demand skills keep changing.

With the evolution of technology, learning has been made so easy for anyone willing to. With just a hand-held device, one can access e-books, podcasts and many more resources. Take an example of websites like www.coursera.com, www.edx.com  and www.udemy.com that offer free online courses with certificates – though some at a cost. As long as you have access to the internet, learning should be as easy as

Let’s not also forget that one can easily leverage on their newly acquired skills! Take a quick example of two secretaries. Secretary A has undertaken lessons in safe cloud transfer and backing up of data. Secretary B still transfers and backs up data using flash disks. Who do you think can leverage on their skills? Of course secretary A!

  • Do career assessments occasionally

In school, you used to do tests occasionally. But now no one is going to chase you around to see if you really did the new course you wanted to do online. Or if you have learnt the new language you set out to. You’ll have to do it yourself. If you really want your career to advance, then be honest to yourself while carrying out the career assessments. Say you wanted to learn a new software but only attended two sessions out of 10 then that’s almost equivalent to none!

Career assessments when done really well can give a good picture and direction your career is taking. If you can’t be honest to yourself then get a mentor or friend you think can assess your situation and give you an honest feedback. It’s up to you if you do it monthly or quarterly or yearly. But you just have to do it!

To conclude, those that don’t have missions, set and stick to it. Then start taking career development risks and network as much as you can. In order to stay irreplaceable, one must keep learning – so never stop learning. Lastly, assess your career occasionally to see if you are really taking the right and desired direction.

Do you have questions? Get in touch with us and send an email to: peter.kisadha@everjobs.ug.

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