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Blog: Helpful Career Tips for 2020

Chad Storlie is a marketing director and a lecturer of marketing at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), an Iraq combat veteran and a widely published author. His work can be seen at www.CombatToCorporate.com.

The start of the New Year is always a great time to pause and look for career advice. Adapting your skills, career goals, network, and industry knowledge is more important as you age in the workforce.

As the New Year starts, take some time to focus on how you can make the best career moves and actions for a promising 2020. 

Communication Style

My military and Midwestern background lends itself to a direct, no-nonsense work style. It was shaped by military deployments, the expectation to always hustle, and a family of farmers.

Knowing this, I take special steps to walk around each day and talk face-to-face, use the phone, and engage co-workers to understand their challenges.

In short, I force myself to slow down in order to get everyone’s feedback.

Keep Active in the Public Eye

Google your name. What comes up?

This is a simple test to determine the image of your personal brand to the public.

If your name is attached to press releases, news stories, public events, and education – awesome – keep it up. If nothing comes up, then start to determine how to position yourself in initiatives you personally value.

Volunteering, helping at the local school, speaking in a college classroom, or helping military members launch their post-military careers are different ways to do some good while building a digital brand.

Improve Your Formal Education

Possessing formal education and improving your educational credentials at all stages of your career is an effective method for your career to remain relevant. I just began a master’s degree in data science, which will take two years to complete.

The speed and depth of change in business will continue to increase and it is always better for your career to get ahead of the change. A solid and continuously developing formal education helps ensure you stay at the top of your game.

Take Advantage of Offered Education

Take advantage of any organization offering free training whenever they are offered.  Focus on classes and skills that will make you unique, valued, and versatile within a variety of roles.

Skills in data use, technology, data visualization, cost reductions, productivity improvement, leadership, business growth, and customer satisfaction are in demand in every industry.

Teach the Next Gen of Leaders

Teaching the next generation of leaders and co-workers within your organization clearly separates an employee as a leader and a highly valued participant.

Generational teaching within the organization is also a way to learn new skills from younger employees and build intergenerational connections among employees.    

Expect a Shock to Your Career

Every employee at every level should always expect an immediate change to their employment status.

This is not paranoia. This is a current workforce reality.

Regardless of your skill level in the organization and prior contributions, there are changes driven by international trade, brand value changes, disruptive technology, state tax breaks, and breakout competitors that will affect your employment due.

Having a growing network, modern skills, a strong personal brand, and living in a dynamic economic community will keep your career prospects strong.

 

Chad Storlie is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer and an adjunct professor of marketing at Flagler College. He is a mid-level B2B marketing executive and a widely published author on leadership, business, military and technology topics. His work can be seen at www.CombatToCorporate.com.