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3 Unconventional Strategies to Advance Your Career

Tired of your pay grade? Ready for the next step in your career? Looking for a new opportunity but aren’t sure you have the qualifications to dump your current employer?

If you’re looking for an escape from your current job, chances are you’ve also been focused on your professional development lately. And by professional development, I mean awkward networking mixers, informational interviews and not-so-compelling corporate trainings.

And chances are, you still haven’t found the positive career momentum you’re looking for.

Well here’s the good news: it’s not you; it’s your strategy. If you want to advance your career while still keeping your current job, you’ll need to think a little outside the box.

Here are three unconventional and overlooked career-boosting tactics that can help you advance in your current job or find other more appealing employment opportunities:

Start a Side Hustle

If the only skill on your resume is “highly organized,” consider building up your skillset outside of your 9-5 job. A side project (or side hustle) can help you gain additional experience and learn new skills while staying at your current employer. Not only will you be gaining tangible, relevant experience that you can add to your resume, but you’ll also be testing out a new type of work that could take you down a totally different career path. Starting a side project is like advancing your career and being in two places at once – just be sure you don’t burn out adding a side gig to your plate while keeping up with your daily work.

Speak at Industry Events

One of the easiest ways to assert your expertise in your field is to present in front of your peers or industry leaders at conferences. Intimidated about public speaking? Not sure you have the expertise to speak confidently in front of a group of strangers? Think about the number of terrible speakers you’ve listened to in your lifetime. That should be enough of a confidence booster to try it yourself. You don’t have to be a rock star motivational speaker and you don’t have to have a doctorate in your field to be able to get on stage and say something meaningful. Seek out smaller-audience speaking opportunities to get your foot in the door. If that fails, consider hosting and moderating your own discussion and invite industry experts to participate.

Establish Your Brand Online

If you’re looking to establish authority in your field of interest, blogging and creating an online narrative around your expertise is a great place to start. It’s easier than ever to create a website or blog on your own; in less than an hour, you could have your own site touting your professionalism and knowledge in your field. And even if you don’t have real-world experience in your area of interest, you can create your own personal, authoritative “brand” by writing blog posts about topics where you want to build expertise. And when hiring managers search for your name online, you’ll certainly look like an authority.

Have you tried any of these career-building strategies yourself?

Stephanie is the founder of The Empowered Dollar, a site dedicated to helping millennials fix their finances and find their stride in money and life. When she’s not blogging, Stephanie is designing school curricula and online games to teach students about smart money management.

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