Career Tips: How to Conquer Each Stage of Your Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 31, 2022

Published March 20, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Whether you are preparing to start your career, or have already established yourself in your industry, there is always room for improvement. By reviewing a few helpful career tips you can align your long-term goals and create a plan for success. In this article, we define why career tips are important before listing how you can succeed at each stage of your career.

Related: Best Job-Seeker Tips to Strengthen Your Job Search

Why are career tips important?

Career tips are important because they serve as a guide for you to approach each stage of your career. Furthermore, putting these tips to use can potentially help you achieve new career milestones by reminding you of your goals.

Related: 10 Ways to Refocus Your Career During a Midlife Crisis

Job search

Job searching is the first step to beginning your career. However, this process is usually repeated multiple times throughout your professional life as you look for new, more challenging positions. For this reason, it is important to use these tips to stay organized and maintain a proactive mindset about potential job opportunities. Here are some career tips to implement during your job search:

  • Treat your job search like your career by putting time and thought into your approach.

  • Participate in networking opportunities within your community.

  • Attend informational interviews with industry professionals.

  • Create a professional online profile.

  • Set your online profile to be open to recruiters.

  • Set up job alerts on job networking sites.

  • Email companies you are interested in working for instead of relying solely on job postings.

  • Set daily job goals to keep you motivated to search and follow up.

  • Keep a spreadsheet recording each job you apply for, the company name and the date you applied.

Setting career goals

Setting career goals for yourself can help you stay focused on the future by reminding you of how your current job position contributes to your career in the long-term. Here are some key goal-setting career tips to help you establish your own:

  • Identify your personal and professional values to guide your career decisions.

  • Create a flexible five-year plan to gain perspective.

  • Make a list of long and short-term goals that complement one another.

  • Communicate with your current manager to show them you are interested in internal promotions.

  • Do not be afraid to alter your career goals to pursue other areas of interest.

Related: 14 Short-Term Goals to Improve Your Career Today

Resume and cover letters

Your resume and cover letter serve as representatives of your professional skills, background and qualifications. For this reason, you need to understand how to maintain these documents and update them for the best job search results. Here are some tips you can apply to your own resume and cover letter:

  • Tailor your resume and cover letter to the company.

  • Highlight relevant keywords from the job description to apply to your resume skills section.

  • Structure your resume around numbers and figures.

  • Use your cover letter to elaborate on your resume, not repeat it.

  • Do not mention salary expectations anywhere.

  • Refrain from using 'To Whom It May Concern' in your cover letter but personalize it.

  • If you are emailing your resume and cover letter, convert them to PDF before you attach them.

  • Focus your cover letter on what you can offer the company and its business model.

Interviews

Interviews, whether they take place over the phone or face-to-face, provide employers with valuable insights into your professionalism and your ability to fulfill the requirements of a job position. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a job interview and present your best self to an employer:

  • Create a list of work experiences to discuss.

  • Research the company's history, top executives, industries and values.

  • Make a list of questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview.

  • Complete a mock interview with a friend.

  • Map out the route you'll take to get to the interview location.

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early for the interview.

  • Dress professionally regardless of the company's dress code.

  • Remember to smile and be yourself.

  • Always bring extra copies of your resume.

  • Bring a small notebook and pen to take notes.

  • Always send a thank you note to the interviewer.

  • Make sure you follow up at least one week after your interview.

Related: 125 Common Interview Questions and Answers (With Tips)

First 90 days at a new job

The first 90 days at a new job are often overwhelming and exciting at the same time. You are learning more about your new role and the company within this time so follow these tips for navigating the onboarding process and establishing yourself at your new company:

  • Ask your supervisor any questions you have immediately to avoid confusion later on in your job.

  • Communicate with your supervisor to establish your daily priorities.

  • Aim to meet and interact with as many coworkers as you can to foster relationships and gain support.

  • Try to identify your supervisor's leadership style and how they measure employee success.

  • Accept that you will make mistakes as part of the learning process.

  • Arrive 30 minutes early each day to establish your work ethic and settle in before starting the day.

  • Commit a certain amount of time each day to learn more about the company and its purpose.

Workplace productivity

Once you get accustomed to your new workplace and your job responsibilities, find ways to keep you motivated and on task by using the following tips:

  • Focus on energy management versus time management.

  • Declutter your desk and office space for a clearer mind.

  • Make use of professional websites that help organize your responsibilities into manageable tasks.

  • Mute distracting apps on your phone before each workday.

  • Minimize the number of emails your get by putting auto-texts on your phone.

  • Set specific timeframes for responding to emails each day.

  • Reduce the amount of time you spend multi-tasking.

  • Follow the 'two-minute rule' by completing tasks that you know will take two minutes or less before completing more complex tasks.

  • Take regular breaks to get up, move around and change up your environment.

Related: 10 Simple Ways to Be More Productive at Work

Getting to know your coworkers

Positive professional relationships are a beneficial part of office life. You can even form friendships that make the workplace and your responsibilities more enjoyable. That being said, there are a few measures you can take to foster positive workplace relationships that benefit you and the success of your company:

  • Be kind to everyone.

  • Take advantage of post-workday activities where you can get to know your coworkers on a deeper level.

  • Ask coworkers to go for a coffee where you can gain their insights on the company while also learning more about them.

  • Find areas of common ground that can help you connect with them on a more personal level, whether it is a TV show, band or even a similar commuting route.

  • Adjust your communication style to accommodate your coworkers' different personality types.

Advancing in your career

Once you have established yourself in your field and held one or more job positions, you might wonder when you should start looking for more advanced and higher-paying opportunities. Whether you seek an internal promotion or look to outside offers, here are some tips on how to advance your career:

  • Always search for new opportunities even if you enjoy your current position.

  • Participate in degree programs or earn industry certifications that enhance your credentials.

  • Regularly read articles to stay up to date on industry trends and new concepts.

  • Look for leadership opportunities within your current job position.

  • Stay connected to members of your professional network to learn about possible job openings.

  • Maintain your health so you have the energy to participate in new and exciting job opportunities.


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