If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll probably be familiar with the Japanese concept of Kaizen. It’s come up a few times but, essentially, it’s the idea of constant improvement and changing for the better, often applied to a business context. You want to constantly be improving and refining your processes so you can get the best performance.
But you can apply the same principal to yourself and your CV, you want to always be improving. But that isn’t always possible, for one reason or another you end up in a dead-end job where you start stagnating and feel that your progression has stopped. To make things worse, if you aren’t getting better then trying to move jobs could be harder too.
Fortunately, there are still some things you can do to improve yourself so you can break through the ceiling of a stagnant job. Here are four top tips:
1. Get a Driving License
It may sound a little backwards, possibly even expensive, but having a full driving license is an enormous boost to your CV. In fact, one in six UK job adverts now require a full driver’s license, even if the position doesn’t actually entail driving.
There is a definite advantage to having a driving license when applying for positions, as you’ll gain access to a much wider field of locations to work in. Beyond this, a license shows you’re flexible, motivated and can travel further afield when required – all qualities that look favourable in the eyes of an employer!
So, what’s the best way to go about acquiring a driving license? First things first, you should find a local instructor, for instance say you live in Wigan, you could search driving instructor wigan and see what results came up. If you’re in a hurry, an intensive driving course could be a fast way to get qualified if you’re keen to start attending job interviews in further flung locations.
2. Volunteer Work
Usually considered an early step in someone’s career, volunteer work is seen as a way to acquire skills you’ll need for work before you start earning money. But there’s potential for more here than some might realise!
For instance, if you’re looking for a career change, volunteer work will demonstrate that you’re interested in a sector outside of the one you work in, allowing you to amass some tangible experience at the same time. It can only help an application if you can demonstrate interest and experience ahead of applying.
The best way to find volunteer work will either be to search online or to see who in your immediate network can point you in the right direction. The only thing to bear in mind is that any volunteering you do mustn’t detract from your full-time work or you could soon find yourself in hot water.
3. Professional Certification
This will be sector dependent in a lot of cases, but acquiring an additional qualification that’s relevant to your field is a good way to stand out from the crowd. Certain jobs almost expect such a qualification, for instance if you wish to obtain chartered status (as explained here). By proving your specialism within a field, you can enhance your job prospects significantly.
It may sound surprising, but the best way to action this could well be through your existing job. Often when seeking professional certification, doing it through your company will make it easier to secure a placement and, if you’re lucky, it may even be enough to improve your position within the company and get you passed the threshold holding you back. This will depend on your sector and possibly with your relationship with your current employer, but they may even absorb the costs.
4. Public Speaking
Being able to speak well in front of strangers and give a presentation is something that a number of people have difficulty with and this difficulty can translate into other areas. Such as conducting an interview. Getting better at speaking in front of an audience and to people in general is very important if you’re looking to move jobs and land a better position.
But actually improving your public speaking isn’t simple and there is no quick fix method – finding a local dramatic society could be a step in the right direction. By performing you get a feel for how to conduct yourself when you’re speaking in front of a large group and getting passed the uncomfortable stage will make speaking to strangers a smoother experience.
What do you think? Are we missing any big hints? Let us know in the comments below!
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