“We each live our lives one day at at time” is a deceptively simple expression. The same goes for our careers. Comparing the resumes for professionals with 5, 15, or 25+ years of tenure will obviously show different experiences and capabilities. But regardless of your previous accomplishments, what would your resume look like from yesterday as a snapshot of your achievements in 24 hours?
Research from Right Management showed that 48% of professionals in the 18-24 age range update their resumes when a new goal is achieved, compared to 24% of the 35-54 age range. While this could be linked to the scarcity of significant development opportunities later in a career, or perhaps that 35-54 year olds have found more interesting things to do on a Tuesday night. Regardless, the statistic suggests that younger professionals are more aware of their professional achievements on a shorter timescale.
So as you read this and enter a new day in your career, think about what you are going to achieve in the following categories. I’m not advocating haphazard multitasking in order to check all these boxes in a single day, but instead encouraging you to learn and develop, one day at at time.
- Quantify the results of a project you’re leading
- Ask for an endorsement from a customer or colleague
- Volunteer to join an initiative outside of your “home” function
- Register for a graduate course (does your employer offer tuition reimbursement? As reported in Fortune, 83% say they do)
- Begin a certification program from your employer, vendor (such as Pega Academy), or 3rd party (PMI reports that project managers with the PMP designation earn 20% more)
- Seek out an adjunct professor role at a nearby university. Teaching is the best way to learn a subject more deeply.
- Volunteer your time as a tutor, mentor, or coach, or otherwise participate in activities to help others.
Speaking and Publications
- Focus your own understanding and help to expand the knowledge of your community by publishing research and making presentations at events
It’s easy to get stuck on “auto-pilot” (no Tesla jokes yet…it’s too soon) and cruise through each day at work without the awareness of how you are honing your capabilities and expanding your knowledge to benefit others. Set off to work tomorrow with the intention of making your one day resume as strong as it can be.