embrace the future now
You may come to the point in your life where you are stuck in a typical nine to five job, one that is paying your bills but is not at all where you see yourself career-wise. When this predicament is upon you there are two things you can do: you can either continue chugging away, wasting opportunity after opportunity to improve yourself and grow as an employee or you can step up and embrace your future right now.
If we tell ourselves “we’ll get to that job, someday” and do not work towards it in the present, we may never get there. There are two main times you can start progressing to the future when you are employed in an unrelated job field – On The Clock and Off The Clock.
Here are some tips on you how you can utilize this time – right now – to really move in the direction of your dream job.
on the clock
Find a mentor. Take opportunities to shadow someone and learn a brand new skill. While it may not be apparently obvious at first, this skill may help you somewhere down the road (and if nothing else, it’s yet another bullet point for your resume).
Develop tech skills. Grow your understanding of popular computer programs. If you typically use Microsoft Office, or any other popular program, try out any new features where applicable. Computer skills are invaluable in the workplace, you’d be surprised how many times your future bosses may rely on your expertise.
Use time to plan your future. Brainstorm about your future while completing mind-numbing tasks. Who says you can’t envision yourself months or years from now while licking stamps or typing in numbers? Just make sure it does not prevent you from performing your best in the moment. Having a good picture of where you want to be in the future is a great selling point for interviews. You have a good head on your shoulders and your goals are clear.
off the clock
Stay up to date on your career field. Continue to read new literature and remain aware of current events (who’s getting hired and why, what kind of skills are desirable for someone in this position). Self educate by staying in the know.
Volunteer with applicable organizations. Whether you believe so or not, there is likely an organization (or two) out there that has some relation to your future career. Not only is volunteering a thoughtful way to spend your time, it helps fill your resume with positive, community building activities. Don’t know where to begin your search to find volunteer opportunities? Try Volunteer Match which connects volunteers with applicable organizations.
Keep your CV up to date. As much as possible, write your new skills or experiences down as soon as they are relevant. Do not wait a year to revisit your resume. A good rule of thumb is to update it every 2-3 months. You might not have many additions, but spending the time to fill it out while it’s still fresh in your mind will save you the headache of not remembering later. LinkedIn is also a great way to keep things updated as you want to maintain a “current profile”.
Enroll in free online courses or pursue higher education. If you have the ability (and it is applicable) apply to different programs that will give you the edge against your competition. Continuing to get educated through accredited programs will show a future employer that you have invested in yourself and that you spend your time off of work wisely.