Credentials demonstrate the knowledge and skills a person has. These can be formal or informal, but they typically involve some assessment that proves you have the skills to perform in a role. The term “credential gap” refers to people who might lack high-level qualifications despite being competent enough for their current jobs. That’s why it’s vital to continuously build and improve your career credentials.
Why should you boost your career credentials?
There are many reasons why you should boost your career credentials. First and foremost, having strong credentials makes you more marketable. You’ll be more likely to get promoted, earn a higher salary, and be less likely to lose your job during tough economic times.
Take how Neo Kian Hong became CEO at SMRT Corp., Singapore’s leading transport provider, for instance. Although he didn’t have experience in the rail sector, his expertise and credibility made him a worthy candidate. This means that his reputation as a leader preceded him, a critical factor in his appointment.
In addition, possessing strong career credentials can help you stand out from the competition. It demonstrates that you’re serious about your career and unafraid to invest in yourself. There are many ways to do this, but the following six steps will help you on your way to boosting your career credentials and taking your career to the next level:
Step 1: Update your skills
No matter what field you’re in, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. Attending workshops, seminars, and online courses can help you do this, and many of them are offered at a fraction of the cost of a traditional degree program.
Of course, if you need to learn new skills to secure a promotion or switch careers, then it might be worth considering a more formal education. Many degrees and certification programs are available, so do your research and find one that meets your needs.
Step 2: Get a new degree or certification
If you’re looking to move up the ladder or switch careers, consider getting a new degree or certification. This is especially important if your current credentials are outdated or don’t reflect the skills required for your desired role.
However, don’t forget that degrees and certifications aren’t the only things to demonstrate your skills. Previous work experience, volunteer work, and even hobbies can be just as valuable for getting a job or promotion.
Step 3: Network with others in your field
Networking is a great way to learn about new opportunities, make connections, and build your professional network. Attend industry events and join relevant LinkedIn groups to get started so that you can begin building relationships with people who might be able to help your career.
There’s no right or wrong way to network; just make sure that you’re respectful and professional when communicating with others. And always remember to follow up after meetings and events. This way, you’ll stay top-of-mind, and they’ll be more likely to think of you when a new opportunity arises.
Step 4: Volunteer or intern
Volunteering or interning for an organization related to your field of interest can allow you to learn new skills and make valuable connections. It can also help you figure out what you don’t want to do with your career, saving you time and money down the road.
Furthermore, many employers favor candidates who have volunteer or internship experience. So if you’re not sure what you want to do, or you’re just starting in your career, volunteer or intern to gain some valuable experience.
Step 5: Get involved in your community
Contributing to your local community is a great way to build your resume and show off your skills. Volunteer for a local charity or start your project to get started. This means you’ll need to be proactive and showcase your skillset, but the effort will be worth it in the long run.
That’s why it’s essential to be involved in activities that you’re passionate about and showcase your skills. This way, you’ll be able to easily share your experiences with potential employers and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Step 6: Stay positive and persistent
Career success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude. Persevere through the ups and downs of your career journey, and you’ll eventually reach your goals. After all, the most successful people are the ones who never give up.
There’s no way to tell if a job or career will be a good fit for you until you give it a try. So don’t be afraid to take risks and explore new opportunities. The more you put yourself out there, the more chances you’ll have of finding the right career for you.
If you’re looking to improve your career credentials, following these six steps will help you on your way. By updating your skills, networking with others in your field, and getting involved in your community, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your career credentials and taking your career to the next level.