While it’s true that “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” people tend to use that phrase and mindset to dismiss the possibility of making significant progress in a short period of time. The fact is, you can change your life in the course of a single day, so imagine what can be done in a full week if you commit every fiber of your being to getting it done.
However, it’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to making strides in your career because people often think about occupational advancements in terms of years, not weeks or months. It may take years to earn a degree, but there are plenty of other things you can do this week to set your career on an upward path, including but not limited to the following efforts:
1. Revamp Your Resume
Since your resume/CV is one of the primary factors taken into consideration by prospective employers, it makes sense to start with this crucial document. Spare no expense in procuring the best resume writing service you can find.
Some services may charge lower prices, but all you should care about is the quality of the finished resume. Think about it this way: would you rather save money by paying for a cheaper resume that won’t get you hired, or spend extra to get a resume that will land you a dream job?
2. Amend or Extend Your Portfolio
A resume is a great starting point, but if you really want to boost your eligibility as a job candidate, you’ll need a comprehensive and well-designed portfolio to visually showcase your experience. In many industries, your portfolio can be added as an itemized list on your resume. A resume lists your experience and the positions you’ve had in different companies throughout your career, whereas having a separate dedicated portfolio will highlight the individual pieces of some of your best work.
If you don’t currently have anything impressive to add or optimize within your portfolio, you may need to set aside a few days this week to writing up reports, preparing presentations, or completing some other kind of short-term project that demonstrates the scope of your skill set.
3. Begin the Process of Earning a New Credential
Most educational credentials can’t be earned in a week, but there are some exceptions in the form of online courses that provide certification. Take a few courses and earn a few certificates, and by the end of the week, you’ll be on your way to adding several new shiny stars to your resume.
Alternatively, you can just take the baby step of signing up or enrolling for a class, course, or degree program this week. While the reward won’t come until you’ve actually completed the educational program, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that you’ve initiated substantial career improvement just by getting the ball rolling.
4. Sign Up for Job Search Sites and Start Submitting Applications
Now that your resume, portfolio, and credentials are on the rise, it’s time to start applying for a new job. Wait, what? You want me to quit my job this week? No, not necessarily. But why would you keep yourself from considering more lucrative opportunities when there are literally millions of jobs available in the world?
Many people don’t want to jeopardize their current employment by going in search of another job. However, you’ll never know your true income potential unless you make an effort to land the highest-paying job you can find. Sign up for at least five job sites and submit applications to 10 jobs per day for the whole week. By the end of the week, you’ll have 70 applications submitted, and possibly multiple job offers on the table.
5. Consider Using Your Skill Set For Freelancing
If you have a skill that can be sold as a service on a freelance basis, consider the option of signing up for freelancing sites to generate supplemental income. You might even find that you enjoy freelancing full-time from home more than being tied to a physical job location.
If you already have a well-paying career, you’re in the advantageous position of being able to wait for clients who will pay premium prices. High-paying clients are harder to come by than lower-paying clients, but if you have the luxury of being able to wait for the big fish to come to you, you’ll be on track to set higher rates that will make freelancing in your spare time more than worthwhile.
6. Become a Better Employee
If you like your job and are more interested in climbing the corporate ladder, you can take steps to improve your chances of getting a promotion or raise this week. The reward might not come until later, but your self-improvement initiative to become a noticeably better employee can start today.
Many people aspire towards moving up in the company, but how many actually make an effort to become ‘employee of the month’? There are plenty of freely available e-books and video courses on this subject, so there’s no excuse to not do your research.
7. Read a Book on Work-Life Balance
Balancing your work and personal life can be challenging, and while it won’t directly improve your career, it will reduce stress and help you become a better professional. Research shows that stress-free employees are more productive and creative than their bogged down and overburdened counterparts.
You might think that overworking yourself is the fastest route to success, but you could be sacrificing the quality of your work and other aspects of your personal life in the process. Mastering the art of work-life balance is something that every high-level professional should strive towards.
Your Career Will Be What You Make It
It’s important to remember the authority and power you have over your own career path. Many people get locked into a routine and can’t imagine leaving their current job behind for something better. Thus, the very first thing you can do this week to improve your career is to remind yourself that you are in control of your own advancement.