Advancing your career can be difficult when you’re struggling for opportunities to do it within your job. Even when you start looking around at other employers, it can be hard to identify the jobs that will help you move up in your career. If you’re finding it a struggle to get anywhere at work, developing your employability outside of work is another option.
You might think that spending your free time trying to advance your career could be exhausting and boring. But a lot of the things you can do are interesting and even fun, even if some are hard work.
Pick Up a New Hobby
Believe it or not, starting a new hobby could help you become more employable. And it doesn’t even matter that much what the hobby is. Any new thing that you start doing can teach you valuable skills and make you a more interesting person too. Some hobbies might not teach you much, but some people might not regard those as hobbies.
Consider taking up a new sport of physical activity, joining a social club or trying out a new craft. You can learn all kinds of things, from organizational skills to leadership skills, which can be useful for your career.
Going back to school is an option a lot of people consider when they want to improve their career options. However, giving up their job to go back into education isn’t possible for everyone. If you do want to return to your studies, you can do it online so that you can complete a qualification in your spare time. You can do everything from diplomas and certificates all the way up to degrees.
If the idea appeals to you, you should look for legitimate options like Fresno Pacific University online. You can explore degrees in business, education, computer information, and more. Be careful about the institutions you consider because not all of them are as good as each other.
Learn Some Technical Skills
Technology is always developing and keeping up with it is important. No matter what field you work in, having some valuable technical skills can often give you an edge. If you’re the only one in the office who knows how to do something, you could become the go-to tech person. While that could have its downsides, it can also get you noticed.
If you’re looking at job openings and often see particular technical skills requested, it could be worth learning them before you start applying for jobs. That might mean learning how to use a piece of software or perhaps learning to do something like code.
Learn Another Language
While it might not be useful for all career paths, knowing how to speak another language can be a huge asset in some businesses. If you can speak more than one language, you might get chances to go on business trips, transfer your job, or even find new job opportunities in other countries.
Some companies might specifically request bilingual people to work for them, perhaps to work in their customer service department or to communicate with clients or other offices overseas. It can take a while to become fluent in a language, but even reaching a basic conversational level can be very useful.
Attend Networking and Business Events
Doing business “out of hours” might not appeal to you, but sometimes it’s worth dedicating some of your free time to business events. If there’s a local business community or organization you can get involved with, it’s a great way to meet people and to learn new things. You can go to networking events and talks to hear from people in your industry and field. It’s also a good way to expand your horizons if you’re thinking of starting a business, as you’ll find plenty of entrepreneurs to learn from.
If you want to find a valuable use for your spare time, volunteering is a good way to go. There are lots of different types of charity and organization you can volunteer with, and they can give you an opportunity to learn new things. Plus, you’ll likely be contributing to a worthy cause.
You can volunteer with animal shelters, youth outreach programs, homeless shelters, and even political campaigns. It can help you to branch out and experience new things and help you develop yourself in ways you might not get the opportunity to do at work.
Work isn’t the only place you can find opportunities to grow your career. Use your spare time to develop your skills and knowledge too.