Christmas Career Tips

The festive season is filled with chocolate and presents, so for something a bit different this year we’ve put together a list of 24 career tips as an advent gift.  Whether you’re just starting your IT career, already in a role, or you’re returning to IT after a career break, these tips will help you start 2018 right.

  1. Talk openly about your career aspirations – Your career is your responsibility but having your manager onside with your development is important.
  2. Always check your social media presence – Take a quick look across your social profiles. Would you hire you based on what you see?
  3. Be honest – Make sure your CV doesn’t lie. You may feel your effort deserved a higher grade, unfortunately your exam board has to agree. Companies check this – a lot!
  4. Understand your motivations – which aspects of work make you the happiest? Focus your energy on maximising these elements within your working life.
  5. Push forward Innovation – Be the change you want to see. If your work doesn’t excite you, perhaps you should try to make it more exciting.
  6. Seize all opportunities –  If you embrace any and every opportunity to learn something new, there will be even more open doors for you in the future.
  7. Address the issue – Nearly all managers would prefer to address the issue (especially if they are unaware of the problem) than see you burn out at a vital moment. Just speak to them!
  8. Be clear about your ambitions – Your working future should always be an openly discussed topic with your manager and if they fail to regularly bring up your development, then you should.
  9. Research a company before you interview – This is vital before applying and even more so before going to an interview, especially if you want a career rather than just a job.
  10. Keep Positive – One thing can change a situation. Your attitude. Positivity can be infectious and spreading it can brighten up someone’s day and make you feel good in the process too.
  11. Know the interview character types – Whether it be The Robot, The Hyperactive, The Best Friend or The Uninterested, get clued up on each character type and you’ll be sure to ace your interview.
  12. Helping your colleagues is the key to happiness at work – It might not appear to be the first thing that springs to mind when looking to smile at your desk but a recent survey by CV Library proves this to be an effective strategy.
  13. Know Your Value – Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary at reviews, or when you take a new position. Just be ready to back it up with some of your accomplishments.
  14. Follow your passion – always been interested in coding, but ended up working in tech support? Make the change! Employees who love their work will be more engaged, and more successful.
  15. Always be ready to learn – There’s no such thing as too eager, whether in a new role or a role you’ve held for a while. Make sure you’re asking questions and taking notes – everyone has something they can teach you.
  16. Sharpen your soft skills – be mindful of your body language and attitude in interviews. Your soft skills give employers an idea of how you’ll build relationships at work. A good handshake and eye-contact will take you far.
  17. Set Goals to drive yourself – successful people are goal orientated, and you can be too. By setting targets, you can be driven and focused at work, either with a new project or an old task.
  18. Practice – Everyone can babble when they’re nervous. The best way to beat interview jitters is to practice questions beforehand. You don’t need to know them off by heart, just well enough that you won’t lose track.
  19. Don’t take it personally – The Christmas period can be stressful for everyone, as people rush to get ahead of their workload. If you find your workplace is becoming stressful, take it on the chin, and work to remedy the situation.
  20. Talk it out – If you’re struggling with a colleague, your manager or your workload, the worst thing you can do is keep it to yourself. Talk to your HR department, who may be able to help with the problem.
  21. Take care of yourself – 20 million Britons don’t get enough sleep, so make sure you’re not among them. Feeling well rested will impact your performance, mood and overall wellbeing.
  22. Create a strong LinkedIn – Like it or not, LinkedIn has become the go to tool for recruiters. By building a strong profile and getting colleagues to endorse your skills, you maximise your chances of being headhunted.
  23. Build connections wherever you go – It never hurts to have someone in the know. By networking and building up a base of useful contacts, you could solve a problem through knowing the right person.
  24. Get qualified – In this increasingly competitive job market, there can be 100’s of suitable candidates applying for a single position. Make your CV stand out from the pile, but keeping your professional qualifications in line with the industry.

That’s the full list of our Christmas career tips. Think we’ve missed anything essential? Let us know in the comments.