Landing a Dream Career:
How to Stand Apart
Many aspiring professionals make the mistake of trying to fit in, but they should aim to set themselves apart from the crowd.
If you want to grab the attention of a hiring manager or your employer, you must find ways to make a long-lasting impression. It could result in them hiring you on the spot or offering a promotion.
To wow a potential or current boss and land your dream career, you must read these top tips on how to stand apart.
Ask Others for Feedback
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses before an interview could help you to make a positive first impression.
To do so, you should ask your loved ones or colleagues for feedback on how others might perceive you in person, on the phone, or via email.
You might need to work on your body language, tone, outlook, or enthusiasm. For example, if you sit slumped in your chair and fail to convey a passion for an industry, a hiring manager could believe you’re the wrong candidate for a job.
Choose a Sought-After Degree
The degree you choose can determine whether a hiring manager calls you on the spot after reading your resumé or casts it aside.
To ensure it’s the former, you’d be wise to gain a degree that will wow a potential employer.
For instance, if you want to climb the corporate ladder with ease, you should enroll for an online MBA program.
Once you have completed a fully accredited online MBA program, you’ll be able to solve various business problems, make informed company decisions, communicate with professionals of all levels, and lead a team to success.
An online MBA could, therefore, help you to secure a rewarding career at a flourishing brand and enter a company at a more senior level.
Plus, the beauty of an online MBA is that you can take your pick from various high-flying careers, such as:
- Creative director
- Digital marketing manager
- Chief financial officer
- Business consultant
- HR manager
- Senior auditor
- IT director
You will ultimately have multiple career paths to choose from and you will walk into various senior roles. For this reason, you shouldn’t overlook the role of an online MBA in helping you to become an asset to a business in any industry.
While an online MBA can help you to stand out from a crowd of candidates, a lack of confidence could hold you back in your career.
You’ve likely heard the saying “fake it ‘til you make it” and that’s exactly what you must do at an interview and at work.
Most employers will want to hire confident professionals who can lead a business to success, and your self-assuredness can convince them that you’re the right person for a role.
- Use the following tips to help you appear more confident:
- Practice positive thinking before an interview
- Rehearse various answers aloud
- Sit up straight and make eye contact
- Naturally smile at a recruiter
- Don’t fidget
- Slow down when talking
- Don’t appear desperate for the job
You also must ensure you firmly shake the interviewer’s hand and look them in the eye when answering various questions.
Recruiters will want to hire an employee who shows great attention to detail.
It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for a senior position or an entry-level job, you must be more prepared than every job applicant.
Impress an employer by learning as much as possible about a brand’s history and their products, services, and target audience.
If you take the time to learn about the brand, to gain an insight into a demographic, and can provide a fresh perspective, you’re more likely to be noticed during the recruitment process.
Business owners aren’t only looking for candidates who look great on paper. They want to work alongside creative thinkers who can develop innovative products, services, sales tactics, or marketing campaigns.
To prove you can think creatively each day, you should aim to ask questions other applicants might not have thought about.
Again, an online MBA can help you to think outside the box, overcome various business challenges, and look at the bigger picture.
The insightful questions will likely come to you more naturally, which could wow a prospective employer and lead to a job offer.
Many ambitious professionals are often afraid to toot their own horns on their resumé, during an interview, or at work.
However, there’s no reason why you can’t highlight your various achievements when an opportunity arises.
You’ll have worked hard to graduate with an online MBA, to help a company to reach its financial targets, or to secure a large client.
Don’t minimize your efforts out of fear of being annoying. Naturally shining a spotlight on your achievements to date can provide an employer with confidence in your ability and could help you to earn the respect of your colleagues.
By doing so, you will be more likely to secure a position, gain a promotion, or enjoy a larger salary.
Engage with Others
It’s important to remember that there is a big difference between confidence and arrogance.
Nothing will be more boring to a hiring manager than a self-centered candidate, and they might not be the best fit for a collaborative company culture.
For this reason, you must aim to engage with others both during the interview process and once you join a team.
Take the time to make friendly conversation and to ask questions, be sure to appear interested in others’ lives, and genuinely listen to what they have to say.
Focus on Continual Development
If you want to become a master of your field and take your pick of careers, you must look for ways to continually develop your knowledge and skills.
For example, you could complete a degree, such as an online MBA, attend various training courses, learn from experts in your field, read various textbooks, and aim to improve your existing skills.
If you continually look for opportunities to grow your experience and skillset, you’ll have employers queuing down the block to make you an offer.
Plus, you could establish yourself as an expert in your field, which could impress clients, business associates, and investors.
However, to become a master in your field, you might need to occasionally forgo social events or lazy evenings on the sofa to gain an advantage over other professionals in your chosen field.
Play to Your Strengths
Blow the competition out of the water by playing to your strengths at work, in an interview, or during an important meeting.
If you have a firm understanding of what you’re good at, you can use these various strengths to work in your favor.
Identify at least three of your strongest talents, such as:
- Being a good public speaker
- Being a great writer
- Being a talented salesperson
- Having a friendly demeanor
Once you have pinpointed your various strengths, you must figure out the different ways in which you can apply them to achieving your professional goals.
For example, you could use your exceptional organizational skills to effectively manage a project, delegate tasks to a team, or organize sensitive documents to improve business productivity and profitability.
Dress for Success
Appearance is important in business. It doesn’t matter if a company has a strict or casual dress code, the clothing you wear, and the style of your hair can impact the way your employer, management, and colleagues perceive you.
Your work clothing will prove whether you take your career seriously or take no pride in your job.
If you look unkempt and too casual, your boss might believe you don’t care about the job or the business.
While you don’t need to attend an interview or a job wearing a tuxedo, you must make an effort each day.
For example, you should:
- Wear smart clothing (such as a shirt or blouse)
- Groom yourself (for example, comb your hair and trim your nails)
- Shower every day
- Use deodorant
Smart attire will lead to greater respect from your colleagues and will give them confidence in your ability.
Make Improvement Suggestions
If you’re eager to climb the career ladder at a company, you should look for opportunities to improve a business model, strengthen a marketing campaign, or increase a company’s sales.
Many successful business owners will be more than happy to welcome suggestions from forward-thinking, proactive employees.
If you are willing to make improvement suggestions, share your ideas, and offer opinions, an employer will be more likely to take notice of your talent, ability, and initiative.
If you can make their life much easier, you’ll be worth your weight in gold to a business.
It could be the key to a senior position, a pay raise, or greater respect from management.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine when working each day, which can make it difficult to step outside your comfort zone.
Rather than shying away from a big project and giving it to an ambitious co-worker, embrace the task with both hands.
Tackling a large job will prove to an employer you have great organizational and management skills, as well as exceptional attention to detail.
The next time an opportunity arises, don’t shrink into the background—put yourself forward for a project.
It will help you to secure more face time with senior management and earn their respect.
Set Specific Goals
If you want to land your dream career, you need to establish specific, realistic goals for yourself.
For example, if you want to secure a senior position and drive one or more organizations to success, you should set yourself a goal of completing an online MBA program.
You’ll also need to pick a specialism during an online MBA, such as marketing, finance, business analytics, or accounting.
Once you have graduated from an online MBA, you can then find a senior position that best complements your skills and passion.
If you stop dreaming of changing your life and take action, you could quickly set yourself apart from others and embark on a rewarding career.
Go Above and Beyond
While an employer will likely be happy if you tick every box on your daily to-do list, they’ll be more likely to notice your talents, skills, and ambition if you go the extra mile.
Rather than meeting expectations, aim to go above and beyond to deliver fantastic customer service, an outstanding project, or to keep a client happy with the business.
Many professionals make the mistake of aiming to meet expectations over exceeding them.
However, if you wake up with the mindset of surpassing your own expectations, it might not be long until you stand out from your team members and put yourself at the top of the list for a promotion or pay bump.
Adopt a Positive Attitude
A positive attitude can determine others’ perception of you, your outlook on a project, and your ability to overcome various challenges.
If you adopt an optimistic mindset, you’ll have more enthusiasm and energy when undertaking a complex project, and you’ll have greater resilience when faced with a problem.
Plus, you’ll appear friendlier to your co-workers, customers, and/or clients, which could help you to form stronger professional relationships and a superb reputation across your industry.
Ambitious professionals can’t afford to sit back and wait for a new job, a promotion, or a pay rise to fall into their lap.
If you are serious about advancing in your career at a flourishing company and enjoying a large annual salary, you must set specific goals for yourself and don’t stop until they become a reality.
While an online MBA and continuing education can help you to stand apart from other applicants for a role, you also must dress for the part, work on your body language, and improve your soft skills.
For instance, you might need to dress smarter to work each day, adopt a positive attitude, take a genuine interest in others, and you shouldn’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
It could help an employer to take notice of your skills, knowledge, and leadership style, which can lead to you climbing the corporate ladder at a rapid rate.
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