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Published on September 26, 2018

7 Very Best Job Sites on The Web to Help You Advance Your Career

7 Very Best Job Sites on The Web to Help You Advance Your Career

If you’re not satisfied with your current job and is trying to look for one that will make you feel more fullfilled, you’re not alone. Data shows that roughly 50% of US employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

So how can you advance in your career? By growing in the right places.

In this article, I’ll recommend 7 best job sites to help you advance your career. You’ll need to work on the right tasks, talk to the right people, and do the right research. But before you start using any resource, you need a game plan.

The game plan to advance your career

Empower yourself by evaluating

You may already know that you’re good in your field, but you need to know more.

Here’s what I mean:

Write down your soft and hard skills.

Hard skills are ones that are more technical and taught in a classroom. For example, learning to read, write, math problems and so on.

Soft skills relate to the way you interact with others. So, the way you interact with your team and friends determine which soft skills you have.

After writing down both your hard and soft skills, determine your next steps.

Brainstorm different ways you can improve. Courses will most likely help you with improving hard skills. But, you may need to join groups such as the Toastmasters to improve your soft skills.

Use feedback to skyrocket growth

Knowing yourself is important, but you still need feedback from others.

Now that you know your strengths and weaknesses, ask your team for feedback. For example, if you feel that you’re good at crunching numbers, ask a coworker for their honest feedback. You might find out they feel the same or that you need to improve in some areas.

Most companies have semi-annual or annual performance reviews.

Use this time to get feedback from your manager. Show them you’ve done your homework by letting them know which areas you’re looking to improve. They can offer you advice on the next best steps to take to advance in your career.

ClearCompany’s survey revealed that engaged employees received feedback at least once per week.[2] Chances are that if you’re not receiving constant feedback you’re not growing.

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Make it a priority to get feedback from your team to make faster progress in your career.

Setting goals are a sure-fire way to succeed

“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

Goal setting

is the most important task in reaching success. Think about it, if you have no direction, how will you ever know you’ve reached your destination?

Goal setting sounds simple, but this is where many people run into trouble.

By setting a goal, you’re using an outcome as your guide for which actions you’ll make. Take a project manager for example, who aims to get his PMP certification. After learning more about the test, he sets a goal to get this certification within 3 months.

Although this goal is specific, break it down further. Using the example above, the project manager can set a daily goal to study for 1 hour for the exam instead.

Make sure that your goals are SMART. And once you’ve broken down your goals, write them down in a journal.

A proven way to grow faster

You took time to plan. You’ve discovered your strengths and weaknesses, plus received feedback from your team. But that’s not all, you’ve also set SMART career goals.

Are you done? Almost, but now it’s time to work smarter and not harder. Take advantage of the many great resources out there to help you advance in your career.

Best job sites to kick-start your career in the right path

Here are the 7 best jobs sites to help advance your career:

1. MindTools

Emotional intelligence is an important skill to master.[3] A great site to help you improve this skill is MindTools. They offer many great resources to help you improve your emotional intelligence. Start by reading their blog daily to become more knowledgeable in this field.

So what is emotional intelligence? It’s the ability to manage your own emotions as well as the emotions of others. It helps you build better connections with your team, and handle pressure better.

Another trait of emotional intelligence is empathy. This involves seeing someone else’s perspective and feelings. For example, if your manager has many deliverables due, you may decide to offer him/her help.

Emotional intelligence will open many doors for you. In today’s workforce, it’s not enough to only have technical skills. You also need to understand others. And, improving your emotional intelligence will help you do this.

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2. LinkedIn

Why advance in your career alone if there are people who’ve already reached success? You need the help of mentors to help you avoid common mistakes and make progress quicker.

But how do you find them?

One of the best ways to do this is using LinkedIn. This social media platform has over 562 million users. And, most professionals who are serious about their careers have a LinkedIn account.

Another great feature of LinkedIn has is its degree separation feature. With this feature, you’re able to see first-degree, second, and third-degree contacts. In other words, you’re able to view friends of friends.

This is powerful because according to a Facebook study, we’re only 4 degrees away from anyone.[4]

Start by defining where you’re trying to head in your career. Then search for people who’ve already reached this level of success.

For example, if you’re wanting to be a marketing manager, type this title in LinkedIn’s search bar. Filter by people and a list of connections (first, second, or third) will display. From here you can reach out to existing contacts, or build relationships with new people.

3. VolunteerMatch

What if you could gain leadership skills and feel good about it during the process?

That’s what volunteering can do for you. A great site for you to find your next volunteering opportunity is VolunteerMatch.

So why volunteer?

In order to advance in your career, you need to be a leader. That’s because they’re equipped to make important decisions and collaborate with others.

And this is where volunteering shines. Research from Big Lottery Fund revealed that many of their volunteers reported feeling more confident.[5] Other benefits included improved social skills, and feeling part of a community.

All the traits mentioned above contribute to becoming a good leader. A big reason why it’s a great option for those looking to grow while impacting other people’s lives.

4. Mr.Money Mustache

Don’t fall trap in choosing a career only for the money.

Choosing the right career is challenging. But even more challenging when you’re stuck choosing between a career that pays more. Chances are your finances are preventing you from making the right career choices.

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Take, for example, a recent report that stated 8 in 10 Americans are in debt.[6] It’s no surprise why people choose to be miserable in a job they hate because it pays more.

The problem isn’t choosing a job with a higher salary. But you should choose a career that you’ll enjoy growing in. However, when you’re struggling with money, you’re prone to make bad career choices.

So how can you improve your finances?

By learning from the best. Mr.Money mustache shares worthwhile money hacks and how to reach financial independence. Immerse yourself in his blog to improve your finances. Eventually, you’ll start making better career choices.

5. Smart Passive Income

Entrepreneurs carry many key skills of high-performing employees.[7] For example, they’re self-starters, great leaders, and collaborate well with others.

The problem is most people aren’t entrepreneurs.

And while you don’t need to create the next big app, you can build something practical on the side. Many people refer to this as their side-hustle. According to a recent survey, about 40% of Americans now have a side hustle.[8]

So what exactly is a side hustle? It’s the same as having a part-time business that helps you earn extra income. But, the best part is the experience you gain as you’re building your side-hustle.

Think about it, you’ll be doing marketing, research and delivering your product/service. You’ll understand how business functions and become a better employee for it.

Take, for example, Pat Flynn, who started his journey as an entrepreneur studying for a LEED exam. Today his site is a go-to resource for learning how to build an online business. Pat continues to inspire others on what’s possible when you work hard to build something.

Building a side-hustle won’t be easy. But because it’s challenging, you’ll gain new skills.

Pat includes his monthly income and breaks down how his earnings on his site. You can use this as motivation when you’re struggling to build your side-hustle.

6. Coursera

Being specialized in a specific field will open many doors for you.

Research from the US Department of Labor showed that employees with certifications earned 30% more. And employees with certifications also had a 50% lower unemployment rate.[9] Without a doubt, certifications make a difference.

While it won’t guarantee any results, it will help you stand out in the competitive workforce. But don’t take any certification, first check where you want to head.

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For example, if you’re looking to be a project manager, then a PMP certification may be a logical next step. Determine if your company offers to pay for your certification or find a cost-effective route. Once you become certified, you’ll be able to stand out in a competitive workforce.

7. Glassdoor

Be a great negotiator.

How? By knowing the average salary in your industry. This way you’ll avoid getting paid a low rate and be better prepared when asking for a raise.

A survey by Robert and Half showed that only 39% of 2700 employees attempted to negotiate their salary.[10] That’s money left on the table due to fear and many other factors.

So what’s the solution? Use Glassdoor to get a glimpse of the average pay in your industry.

After doing research, focus on what skills set you apart. Use this knowledge to ask for the salary you deserve. For example, if you’re a network engineer with a Cisco certification you’d know to ask for a higher pay rate.

Achieve massive career progress

Imagine waking up at 5 am on a Monday to start your morning ritual.

A few hours later you’re refreshed and ready to start your day with intention.

Not too long ago you dreaded going to work, but you’re now taking charge of your career. The best part is you’re no longer doing repetitive tasks and earn a higher salary than you’d ever imagined.

Don’t you wish this was you?

You know have a blueprint on how to advance in your career. If you’re ready for change now is the time to do it. Many others were able to have successful careers,[11] so why can’t you?

Go ahead and reach that next level to advance in your career. The sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Christopher Alarcon

Content Marketer and Finance Analyst

The Savvy Employees Guide to Asking for a Raise How to Use Debt Snowball to Get out from a Financial Avalanche How to Ask for a Promotion and Move up the Career Ladder Most Effective Time Management Techniques to Succeed in 2019 Should You Quit Your Job Without Another Job?

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

More Articles to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

Reference

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