Young professionals are often looking for what they can do to immediately impact their career. But the steps you take when you’re just starting out can dramatically shape your experience as you grow and develop in your industry. These are a few career tips that will benefit you now — and later down the line as well.
Find a Mentor
Approaching a mentor may seem like an awkward task, but it can actually be much easier (and more rewarding) than you think. Many mentorships can form naturally if you’re looking for them, so keep your eye out for like-minded senior professionals who may offer you valuable advice. Rather than simply asking them to be your mentor, try a more organic approach by asking them to lunch or seeking their input on a work-related matter.
The beginning of a career is the ideal time to take risks and other opportunities that may present themselves. While it may appear to be a gamble at the time, prudent risk-taking can actually pay off in the long run. Now is the time to make a career switch if you don’t feel yours is right for you, or the time to put in long workdays in order to establish yourself with your current company.
You may think that your current coworkers won’t matter much in a few years, but these connections can actually last you a lifetime. Whether they reappear as supervisors, clients, or even advisors, you’d be wise to nurture relationships wherever you work. Your peers often provide valuable insight and career opportunities down the line, so it’s important to keep contact with them whenever possible.
Invest in Professional Development
Your company will often have a professional development budget for each employee, or they may offer unique training courses to help you further develop your skills. Even if you aren’t investing your own money, invest your time in these opportunities, even if only to list your new skills on your resume. This will make you a more proficient worker and a more attractive candidate to companies in the future.
These career steps may not seem important now, but they can actually result in immediate benefits to your position. From being more of a well-rounded candidate to having the support system of a mentor and your peers, you’ll quickly see the effects of these decisions once they’re implemented. So do yourself a favor — both now and in the future — and take these career tips to heart.