Anna Lundberg is a business consultant and personal coach who writes, coaches and leads workshops to help ambitious individuals, employees and entrepreneurs achieve their full potential in their professional and personal lives. Anna recently presented at the Museum Freelance Network ‘Proactive, empowered and confident freelancing’ event held at the Canal Museum in March 2017. In this blog, she discusses some tips on how to take control and be proactive about getting what you want from your career.
In today’s working world, graduates and especially those in the museum and heritage sector have to become more flexible and juggle multiple jobs in order to make it work. Now more than ever the 9-to-5 job is no longer the established ‘norm’. Books such as Tim Ferris’ “The 4 hour work-week” and Sweden’s experiment at introducing a 6-hour work day, have certainly signalled this shift towards achieving a work and life balance approach.
Here are 5 quick tips from Anna on getting what you want from your career:
- Define ‘success’
We’re all running around, juggling projects at work and family commitments at home, checking emails, and reacting to whatever life throws at us. But do you ever take time out to think about the bigger picture? To consider your personal and professional goals and how you’re balancing your different priorities? Taking a step back to reflect on what it is you’re trying to achieve is key to actually achieving it – and for it to be meaningful when you do. What does success look like for you, in personal and professional terms?
- Review your work plan
Once you know your goals, you’ll want to make sure that the actions you’re taking today will get you where you want to be tomorrow. Review your calendar and to-do list and ask yourself: are you spending time on the right priorities? This includes your working hours but also the things you’re doing outside and in the home. Do you feel you have enough time for friends and family, for your hobbies and interests? Are you making time for your health and wellbeing? If not, what shifts do you need to make?
- Never stop learning
When you’re starting out in your career, developing skills for the future is vital; later, it becomes important to stay on top of developments in your field and make sure that you’re not at risk of becoming obsolete. This doesn’t mean taking time off for an expensive and time-consuming course! There are plenty of online courses available, many of them free, as well as industry blogs, Twitter accounts and other valuable resources. Don’t forget the softer skills, such as presenting, negotiating, or writing – we can all get better at these, whatever our level.
- Build your personal brand
Your personal brand is how you present yourself to other people, both online and offline. Review your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and try Googling yourself – is this the image you want to portray to potential clients or employers? In your interactions, online and in person, consider: What do you want to be known for? What are your unique skills, strengths and values? What will make you stand out against similar profiles? Foster that image and build your credibility by engaging in relevant online conversations, publishing original content, and finding opportunities to attend and speak at conferences.
- Grow and nurture your network
Finally, and we all know it though we also find it uncomfortable: don’t underestimate the value of your network. Networking is really just talking to people, connecting and engaging. Look for ways in which you can provide value and help others, and you will find that people will do the same for you. Leverage your social networks on Twitter and LinkedIn, speak to people at conferences and other events, and stay in touch with existing contacts. You never know what opportunities might materialise in the future!