5 tips for career success

We’re really excited to welcome back our careers expert Donna Thistlethwaite. Donna has written for us before on the self-employment dream. She’s an all-round HR clever clogs and we’re lucky to have her on hand.


Have you ever wondered why some people seem to easily and frequently move up the workplace ladder? Have you ever found yourself spending an entire painful weekend writing a job application? Would you like to be able to easily communicate your value to your current or prospective employers to achieve more of your career goals? I thought I might share some strategies that will help take the work out of it all …

  1. Create a file/diary/log in which you record the occasions when you have a win, kick a goal, achieve a result that has relevance to the workplace. Examples could include acting in your boss’s job, participating in a project, running a stall at the school fete, coaching the soccer team. Collect any customer compliments and positive feedback you receive. Record these events when they are fresh in your mind rather than trying to trawl through your memory under pressure to meet a job closing date.
  2. Create a master resume that can be drawn upon to tailor applications to the position you are applying for. Only include information in your resume/application that relates to the role you are applying for so that you can make the link between you and your target role really obvious.
  3. Maintain your skills/professional development. The job for life is a thing of the past, employment security now comes from maintaining our employability skills and knowing what value we bring to the table. Investing in your professional development can include attending conferences and reading industry publications but can also be as simple as engaging with groups on LinkedIn and staying in contact with your network.
  4. Develop and maintain a great network. If you are curently working, make sure the network is both internally and externally focused. Your connections are a wonderful source of learning, opportunity and support. One of the most effective ways people get jobs is through their networks and you never know when you might be in the market for your next opportunity. Consider using LinkedIn to support managing your network – it’s a great way to maintain contact as people move around in their careers and provides an opportunity for two way skill endorsement and recommendations.
  5. Find a mentor. They can be great for supporting your professional growth, expanding your network, increasing your visibility, etc. Your choice should be strategic, considering things like your likely next career step, what skills you need to develop, and who is doing what you want to do. Set expectations collaboratively up-front around objectives, communication frequency and channels, timeframe, etc.

Do you feel confident in your career or could you do with some help? What areas could you use a boost in?


140218 Donna profile 2Donna is a degree-qualified HR professional with postgraduate qualifications in career development and a passion for people. She is a committed career changer and multiple redundancy survivor who spent 15 years consulting across the full spectrum of HR corporately. Donna develops and delivers one-on-one and group career training and coaching and career management programs through her business Career Vitality www.careervitality.com.au. Donna also facilitates CareerSmart Mums to empower women to make career choices that work for them personally.  

Hero image (above) courtesy of Brigit Steindl.

Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


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