Career Development Outside the Workplace

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Once you land a great first job that meets your criteria, you need to complement what you are getting at work with some additional elements outside of work. Sure, you can land your dream job, but the days of all your needs being met by your employer are over.  It’s up to you to make sure these bases are covered as well:

1. Join an external network – Connect with like-minded peers who can help you grow.

Idea: Sandbox Network, Meetup.com, LinkedIn professional groups, entrepreneur clubs, volunteer for a non-profit, etc.

2. Get a mentor: Get specific about what you need help with and reach out to experienced professionals who can help you.

Idea: To understand how to get and keep a mentor, read Seek to Keep.

3. Reading plan: Get to the top of your field by learning as much as you can. Prioritize books over blogs.

Idea: Create a reading list curated by the thought leaders in your field, as well as you mentors.

4. Make something:  Accelerate your learning, put yourself out there and find ways to help people by making something.

Idea: Write a blog, create slideshares, start a company on the side.

5. Sell something:  Develop one of the most important and transferable career skills: selling.

Ideas: Find a product or service to sell or get people to donate to your favorite charity.

Remember, you career success is in your hands. By going above and beyond what is happening in your 9 to 5, you are taking responsibility for your development, instead of relying on your employer.

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