10 Tips to Tune Up Your Career This Fall

While the summer is often a time to get away from it all, autumn can be a prime time to give your career a much-needed tune up. Here are 10 winning ways to get back in the game this season.

  • Meet with your supervisor or a human resources representative at your current job and create a list of professional goals that can further your own interests as well as those of your employer.

  • Join a professional networking association and get involved in it at an administrative level as soon as possible. This will help you get closer to the organization's movers and shakers.

  • Have your resume assessed by a professional. Ideally, seek out someone who works in human resources or an executive search professional who can offer you an unbiased assessment of your resume. You can also meet with a professional resume writer; however, their services come at a price.

  • Get a new professional wardrobe. Image isn't everything, but it's something. Not sure where to start? Click here for tips from some of today's top fashionistas.

  • Go on a job interview for a position that's one level up from your current job. Use the experience - even if you don't receive an offer - to assess what skills or specific know-how you need to make that next leap.

  • Get informed. Become an expert in a particular niche in your chosen field. Read everything you can get your hands on so you start to become the go-to person in your company - and your industry.

  • Get published. Write a trade article. Create a blog (check with your employer for any guidelines so that you don't violate your employment agreement). Start an e-newsletter. Getting your name in print and/or on the web will help fuel your efforts to establish yourself as an expert.

  • Get a mentor. No one understands what it takes to reach your professional goals more than someone who already has. Odds are you can find a fantastic mentor at work, in your current network or through a professional or alumni association.

  • Learn another language. Business, big and small, is going global. Knowing how to speak German, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian or Spanish will increase your desirability tenfold.

  • Go back to school. You don't have to earn your MBA (although, depending on your field, that might help your ascent up the career ladder), but there may be a professional certification or credential that will help you advance.
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