How to master
your career

This is perhaps the ultimate career question, and can be quite broad in scope when you start to think about it. That's why we've broken down the basics in this handy guide to get you started on mastering your career.

Assess where you are and where you want to be

This is always step one, and probably the most difficult part. Ask yourself what do you want? What do you enjoy doing? Can you build a career around it? It can take time for us to work out what we really want to do, so don't panic if grand dreams don't spring to mind immediately!

It can sometimes help to think smaller and the big picture will come. First, is there anything you can do to improve your current job? Is there a different field you'd like to try? Start with some research and you'll have ideas in no time.

Make a detailed career plan

Once you know what you want to do, start planning. Those who set daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals are far more likely to get where they want to be. Make sure the goals can be measured and are achievable.

Level up your knowledge

This could be anything from a hard skill qualification, learning a new technical skill or developing your soft skills more. Find out what the key requirements of your dream job are and take active steps to train yourself to meet them.

Start to network with other people in your field

Never underestimate the power of networking. Getting to know people, learning from them and leveraging a large list of contacts can quickly propel you to the next level. Start out looking for contacts in your area on LinkedIn before widening your net.

Create an amazing CV or Resume

Use a template CV or resume and tailor it to match the industry you want to work in. Showcase your specific skills and achievements that show an employer exactly why they should hire you.

Look and apply for jobs

This sounds simple enough, but don't underestimate the scale of the task that might be ahead of you. In today's competitive jobs market you might need to apply for hundreds of jobs before landing one.

Write a good cover letter

To be in with a good chance of being invited to an interview, you'll need to write a separate cover letter for each job you apply for. Use it to really sell your skills and tell an employer why you'd make a good match for the position you're applying to.

Learn how to answer interview questions

Nothing can quite prepare you for the real thing, but make sure you've covered the top 10 interview questions and have some answers ready to go. Make sure you do your research on the company too so you can answer anything they might ask.

Say goodbye to your former employer

Write a professional resignation letter to your old employer. Be positive and maintain your old relationship too as you never know when you might need them again.

Don't panic

This might seem like a lot to take in, but don't panic. Take things slow and break it down into manageable chunks.

Have clear goals

Make sure your goals are clear and you can quantify their success. Measurable goals are more achievable than vague goals.

Do your research

It's true when they say knowledge is power, and going into the job hunt with as much information as possible will put you above other candidates.

Ask for help

Don't be afraid to ask friends, family and mentors for help and guidance on your journey.

Don't leave a job without a plan

Before you leave your current employer, make sure you've got a plan. There's nothing worse than burning bridges only to find you weren't ready.

Stay positive

It might be a long road to master your career, and you need to stay positive. However many knocks you take, make sure to keep moving forward!

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