Category Archives: Career

4 Really Good Reasons to Go Back to School

It can be daunting going back to school while you’re already in the working world. There are many things to consider: the costs of studying, the time and effort it takes, how to juggle school, work and family, and whether you have a good enough reason to go back to school.

As to that last consideration, here are some legitimate reasons why going back is definitely something to consider:

You need it for that promotion

Do you have your eye on a particular promotion, but need an additional qualification to bag it? Then studying is definitely for you. Perhaps, however, you would study further not for a particular promotion, but just to make you more eligible to be considered for a promotion in the future. Either way, before you enrol, sit down with your boss to discuss whether getting the qualification will indeed help you in getting promoted. It’s good to have an honest discussion about your future options. You might even find that your employee would be willing to help finance your studies.

You’ve reached the glass ceiling

If you’ve reached the glass ceiling at your job and know that you’ll have to look elsewhere to broaden your horizons, then it’s the right time to study further.

However, first ask yourself if you’ve gotten the hang of your job. Is there still a lot more you can learn just by showing up to work every day? Especially if your studies would still be in line with your current job, it’s worth it to learn everything you can on the job first. It’s basically like an education you’re being paid for, so why pay to go back to school and spend that extra time and energy studying? First concentrate on learning the ropes at work before you start looking elsewhere to get schooled.

You want to change careers

Sometimes people go back and study to be able to go further in their current line of careers. But sometimes they study further because they want to change careers. If you are planning on changing career directions, the earlier you do this the better. However, we find nowadays that people are diving into wholly new careers much later on in their lives as well. Are you a high-powered executive who has secretly always had the dream to be a journalist? Or do you daydream of getting your law diploma and being a paralegal like Rachel Zane from Suits? Remember, it’s never too late to go for your dreams.

You feel your skillset is lacking

You like your current career path, you’re doing well, but something’s missing. It’s not that you want to qualify for a specific promotion, but you know that upping your skillset could really make your career take off. This is particularly relevant if you’re self-employed – or want to be. Having a general business qualification, for instance, can really give you the confidence and the know-how to take your business further.

There are many legitimately good reasons to go back to studying. Whether you want to go further in your current profession, or you want to be able to hop across professions to land your dream job, studying further is the way to do it.

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Career

You’re unhappy with the way your career is going and you want to fix it. You want to fast-track it, help it along and stand out from the crowd. But how to do it? There are many strategies, in fact, that you can apply right now. It’s not even necessary to get up from your desk.

Adjust your attitude

Complaining, criticizing and being lazy do you no favours. This is not the type of employee or colleague people want around. Come promotion time, you’re likely to be passed over in favour of someone with a positive attitude. Actively work on bettering your attitude by adjusting your thoughts and looking for the good things about your job.

Review your annual review

It’s easy to forget about your annual or quarterly review once it’s done, but dust it off from time to time to check how you’re doing. There might be problem areas that were highlighted that you forgot about or even opportunities that could be seized. It’ll improve your performance at work, making it more likely that your next review will be a stellar one.

Get organised

A desk that resembles a landfill site does not make for a productive day, because you spend a lot of time searching for misplaced files and documents. To get more productive, get an in-out tray and divide your work accordingly. Trash anything that you don’t need and file the rest. Do the same for your computer’s desktop and your documents folder.

Spend 30 minutes reading

The first thing you should do every morning is read – a blog post, a newsletter, an article; any piece of information that’s relevant to your industry that’ll help keep your knowledge current. It’s one of the best ways to ensure that you stay relevant and have information of value at hand during conversations. If you feel that you need more, look at short courses presented by business schools.

Get noticed

Sitting in your corner, not speaking up and not contributing, is not the way to get noticed. Speak up during meetings, propose a solution to a workplace problem and volunteer to help out. If you really want to make an impression on your manager, ask for more responsibility, then take it on and perform!

Need more quick ideas? Send a mail to someone you connected with at a conference, dress for the job you want, polish your online resume or have a chat to someone that you admire for inspiration.