This is a guest post from Leslie Williams. Leslie is a writer for Jobfox Resumes, the largest resume writing service online. She specializes in using social media to connect to the right job
Wedding planning is a booming business in this country. People want their wedding days to be perfect, and won’t settle for anything less in every element of the event. They must have the most beautiful dress, the most romantic venue, the most delicious food, the most colorful flowers. You would think with so much wedding planning going on, the United States divorce rate wouldn’t be as high as it is now. The problem is, people spend so much time planning the wedding, they neglect to plan for the marriage.
It can be the same with finding a job. You may spend money on professional resume writing, buy the most successful-looking suit, practice and polish your interview answers, all to get that perfect job. But what happens once you get it? The newness will wear off quickly, and your boss will start asking him or herself some key questions: What are you bringing to the company? How are you growing? What kind of ingenuity are you offering? Once you get a job, you can’t sit back, put your feet up on the desk and ride it out until retirement. There is a new deal in the workforce, and the days of guaranteed employment are over. The good news is there are a few things you can do to continue bringing value to your company, and to your resume for when you move on to other things.
Leadership Programs and Executive Coaching
It would be ideal if skills were bestowed along with titles. Although some people are naturals, good management skills are cultivated with time and effort. Several options are available to help kick start your development. A leadership program or course can go a long way to helping you be a better manager.
If you’re not a manager yet, a good leadership program can not only prepare you for a future promotion, it can also help you be a good leader of projects or working groups, which will help make you a better candidate for that promotion. Executive coaching goes a step further by giving you the opportunity to provide mentoring to newly promoted managers. If your company is unable or unwilling to pay for a coach, or for you to attend leadership training, it’s still a good investment to make in yourself. There are also some free programs available. A management course from MIT will look pretty good on your resume, don’t you think?
A quick stroll through any bookstore will show you there’s no shortage of books on business, management, and business management. Whether it’s about how to run a business, how to be a better manager, or how to make yourself indispensable to your manager and your company, a good self-help business book can help you maintain—and build—your value.
Granted, because there are so many books out there on these topics, many of them offering conflicting advice, it can be difficult to choose which one will help you the most. Ask your manager and your peers for recommendations. Knowing what others in the company are reading will help guide you to how they work so you can avoid adopting a different approach that may clash with what your manager and coworkers are already doing.
Most people accept a job entering into what they hope will be a long-term relationship. Just like any relationship, communication is key to making it successful. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or to ask your supervisor for guidance when you need it. A good manager should appreciate your desire to mesh with the company, and to learn how best to contribute.
You should also be ready and willing to offer suggestions and ideas, but use caution. Your first couple of weeks at a new job is not the time to do this. Your manager and coworkers have their systems in place, and you’re the new person who doesn’t yet understand the inner workings of the office, or the company, regardless of how many years of experience you’re bringing with you. Ideas and suggestions should be welcomed and appreciated in a good working environment, but only after you’ve taken some time to learn how things work, and to build a rapport with the rest of the staff that will help them more readily hear or accept your ideas. To immediately jump in with suggestions for change, or to challenge how things are being done can make others bristle, and make you look like a know-it-all out to prove something. Half of communication is listening.
Above all, remember one simple bit of advice—never stop learning. Some industries change more quickly than others, but there will always be something new you can learn, and something different you can do to keep that job once you get it.