Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Five Steps to Stay Ahead

1. Keep Abreast of New Developments

Your own personal education shouldn't stop once you've left the hallowed halls of university or college. To be at the head of the resume queue, it's important to know exactly what is happening in your field. Subscribe to magazine, newspapers and periodicals to keep informed - take courses, seminars and attend conference to update your know-how.

2. Go Back to School

It's never too late to get that degree or even a PhD. If the only thing stopping you changing careers, moving up the career ladder or achieving your ideal salary is the lack of letters after your name, then check out adult education and evening classes in your areas.

Classes are offered in all kinds of skills - whether it's computers, pottery or ballet - so broaden your skills and widen your career chances.

3. Be Computer Literate

If you expect to be able to compete in today's job market, you must have a basic grasp of computers, from word processing to Windows to using the Internet and feeling comfortable with e-mail.

If technology scares you, check out the number of informal classes in the territory where you can join others with techno-fear and fill in those gaps in your computer knowledge.

4. Network

There's always an opportunity to meet people who might be useful in your search for a new job. At conferences and seminars make a point of introducing yourself to others and get to know what they do.

Even if you are timid by nature, see every new person you meet as an ally in your search for a new job. When you go for a job interview, your contacts might be one of the things that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Don't, however, use your contacts for your own personal gain. People will most likely see through you and do not appreciate being used.

5. Get A New Image

Your appearance is the first thing your colleagues, clients and potential employers notice. If you have been neglecting your image, it's time to take a new look at yourself. Get a trusted friend to give you an honest opinion on your looks and what clothes suit you.

Get a manicure and pedicure once a week and check out cosmetic companies' free makeover offers to keep updated on the latest colours.