How to create your own opportunities
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How to create your own opportunities

Think about a time when someone asked you to do something that you not a part of your job. Were you excited? Did you grumble about it? It’s time to shift that thinking to get ahead in your career.

Taking small opportunities is about networking and showing your capability, eagerness, and willingness to do more than your job. When someone from another team asks you to do a task, whether small or large, think of it as an opportunity to show off your skills.

Prove you are capable

Small extra tasks, in addition to your regular work, may seem to be exactly what they are: small. Really, they’re anything but! Being able to complete a small, seemingly extraneous task proves that you are capable and competent.

Take Advantage

It’s common in this day and age to be cautious and afraid that people are dumping work on you, or that you are carrying more than what you have signed on for.
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But consider the potential for growth when you have taken on so many big and small tasks in addition to your job description…you have developed and built up a platform of leverage to take the next step in your career.
Ambition and drive are really key to getting ahead and achieving your career goals. Whether you are seeking a promotion, a raise, or a change in responsibility, you now have a portfolio that acts as evidence and proof that you are ready for positive change.
From a manager’s perspective, they know they can count on you because of your past performance. I see managers all the time looking for people who are more than just skilled—they are looking for people who are eager to do something new.

Show Initiative

Maybe no one is approaching you for extra tasks and opportunities—maybe you see others on your team being given additional work. You must just be stuck with what you have, right? Wrong

  1. Become a problem solver. If you’re not being given or “handed” small/additional tasks, seek out your own. As long as you are effectively and efficiently completely your regular job, look around for processes that might have gaps or areas for improvement. Remember, even small solutions can have a big impact. Proposing those improvements shows initiative, leadership, and creative thinking.
  2. Volunteer. When you have the bandwidth and the opportunity arises where your team or manager asks for volunteers, jump on the opportunity!
  3. When all else fails, ask. After all, Accenture once cited that 85% of people who asked for a raise got one. So, reasoning stands that if you ask to take on more challenging work, people will listen.

Boost your skills

If you feel like opportunities are passing you by, it might be time to update your skill set. The internet is full of resources and pathways to learn something new. If you’re a Collabera consultant, you can take online courses for free through our dedicated learning platform. If not, there are still plenty of places to build your skills:

  • Though they’ve moved more towards a paid model, you can still audit many Coursera courses for free. Brush up on your data analysis, system auditing, and even excel. Though you won’t get a certificate for auditing the class, you can develop your own projects to prove what you’ve learned.
  • There are also a ton of paid courses online that you can take. One more plug for Collabera: we’ve created a platform for some of the most in-demand skills and certifications including Six Sigma and PMP. These are paid courses via Collabera TACT, but sometimes the team does offer discounts if you are a current or past Collabera employee.
  • Finally, the tried-and-true night school! So many universities and colleges these days are putting out certificate programs that are run at night, on the weekends, or over the course of a few days of intensive in-person work. Check out schools local to you, and don’t forget to skim offerings at community colleges—where you can get a lot of the same coursework for a fraction of the price.

No matter what route you take to get ahead in your career, try to always stick to the mentality of going above and beyond. Remember than no one is looking to advance your career more than you are, and so you are in control of the speed and direction of your own growth. Take advantage of opportunities when they come your way, and be sure to create opportunities for yourself as well.

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