How to boost your career for free in 2020

The start of a new decade is an ideal opportunity to take a moment to reflect on how much you’ve achieved career-wise and what you want to do next.

Professional development is crucial when it comes to wanting to climbing the career ladder. It keeps you up-to-speed with the skills you need to be successful in your chosen sector.

Professional development is often neglected or overlooked by workers, leaving them lagging behind others in an increasingly competitive environment.

However, there are numerous tips and techniques you can follow that will help to give your career a boost in 2020. Read on as we look at some of the best ones.

Encourage humility in the workplace

Some companies can suffer from a toxic corporate culture. This can be perpetuated by a management structure that loses sight of how employees should be treated and rewarded.

Humility in the workplace can have a positive impact, particularly if this ethos is driven by the decision-makers within a particular firm.

Respected psychologist, Dr Jan West, believes that humility amongst managers is the perfect antidote for companies with a toxic culture.

“When management demonstrates – walks and talks – a service attitude, the employees develop the same,” she said.

“When employees serve internal and external customers with the service attitude, customer satisfaction soars. This is the root cause of every organisation’s financial performance.

“Management sets the tone, sets the pace, and determines the psychological health (or disease) of the organisation.

“Realising this enormous responsibility and seizing this enormous opportunity makes or breaks every organisation, from its culture to its financial performance.”

Learn a new skill

Whether you’re currently in work or looking for a new job, improving your skillset is a great way to maintain your professional development.

The are a plethora of educational establishments that have made studying much more accessible through distance learning courses.

These types of courses allow you to study at your own pace from the comfort of your own home and give you the opportunity to add extra qualifications to your CV.

Websites such as Online College Plan can be a great resource for those considering studying as they offer a lot of information about free courses and the places that offer them.

Whether you’re looking to head down a different path and qualify for a high-paying vocational career, or simply add another string to your bow, be sure to browse a variety of sites to gather as much information as possible.

Studying as an adult can be daunting, but it undoubtedly opens up doors to a whole new world if you are inclined to do so.

Learning new skills and honing the skills you already have helps ensure that you remain employable and gives you the best chance of progressing further in your career.

Prioritise your tasks

The ability to manage time effectively is a skill that many people crave, but very few actually manage to master.

Numerous studies have shown that workers who manage their time effectively are the ones who are the most productive.

Learning to say ‘no’, delegating work and eliminating distractions are amongst the ways you can improve your time management skills.

Batching routine tasks also plays a huge part in effective time management, helping people complete tasks faster than if they were spread them out over a longer timespan.

David Allen, the author of the hugely popular ‘Getting Things Done’ book, believes that implementing a two-minute rule is the key to greater efficiency.

His theory is that if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, such as replying to an email, you it should be prioritised to maximise your productivity.

“The rationale for the two-minute rule is that that’s more or less the point where it starts taking longer to store and track an item than to deal with it the first time it’s in your hands,” he wrote.

Take time to reflect

Many people don’t take the time to reflect on what they are doing and ways they can improve.

Having the ability to take a step back and assess your own performance is a great skill to have, but it is one that many people struggle to implement properly.

Assessing what you do with an objective eye will help improve your long-term performance, regardless of the industry you work in.

It can be quite scary to critique your own performance, particularly if you are someone that suffers from a lack of confidence.

Psychologist Alice Boyes says that she needs periods of self-confidence and self-doubt to do her best work, and has urged others to adopt the same mentality.

“Both of these states help me in different ways,” she wrote in The Healthy Mind Toolkit. “Sometimes I need confidence to crank out work or take charge of a situation.

“On the flipside, sometimes I need self-doubt to propel me to examine where might have blind spots and to motivate the effort involved in correcting these.”

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