How to Advance Your Career Even If You Don’t Have a Job

Many people think they need a job to make progress in their career. You don’t need a job to make progress. Doing things that create forward momentum may create the work you need over time. So don’t wait to start doing these career advancing moves.

1. Promote your progress. Let those with the authority to spend money and make decisions know the advances you are making in your learning, networks, and knowledge of their industry.

2. Do your homework. Research the leading organizations and individuals in your field. Learn what they are doing to stay ahead.

3. Have your finger on the pulse. Know what the emerging issues and trends are within your industry.

4. Put your hand up. Can you volunteer within your industry association or on the board of an organization with a cause you are passionate about? You will be expanding your network and skills.

5. Chart a career path for your career progress. What skills do you need as you round out your experience and move forward on your career path? How can you learn the skills you will require?

Can you learn:

by taking a course?
in a self-directed way?
by writing an article and posting it?
through volunteering?
through an expert or mentor?

6. Broaden your network in your field. Can you attend industry events with a goal of meeting 3 new people at each event? Can you let your current network know that you want to expand your network? Are there people you should get in front of?

7. Find a mentor (or two). Spend time with people in your field who are further along the career path or considered to be experts in your industry.

8. Polish your online profiles. Keep the information current on these public profiles, so that your contacts can be up to date on your progress.

9. Push your passion forward. Advance your knowledge and abilities in areas of your career where you are truly motivated. This will be fun and rewarding as the learning and knowledge add to your skill sets.

10. Risk yourself. Put more skin in the game by putting yourself out more. You could organize an event, write an article or offer to do a talk. Your efforts and learning can open up new people, opportunities, and energy to you.

These actions will advance your process, add to your knowledge base and network. Even if you don’t have work, setting goals and carrying out some of these actions will move you closer to getting work that you would enjoy and shine at.