Inside: Practical tips for busy professionals looking to advance their careers with limited time to make it happen.
Do you want to know how to advance your career?
Want to do it in just one minute?
You’re in luck because as a career coach I promise you that there are absolutely things you can do in one minute or less that will move the needle.
Because here’s the thing. One minute can actually be a lot of time. For example, once I left my one year old unsupervised for one minute and came back to find every Ziplock bag we owned strewn about on the kitchen floor.
It was honestly kind of impressive. I mean… how? How is that even possible tiny human?
Well, because what toddlers know better than most adults is you can either sit there for a minute, or you can take action.
When it comes to working to advance your career it is possible to use tiny pockets of time, even one minute, to make progress. And if you are a busy parent, sometimes one minute may be all you have right now. So let’s make the most of it! Implementing these changes take one minute or less and make a real impact.
Simple One Minute Changes to Advance Your Career
1. Change Your Password
How many times a day do you type your password? 5, 10, 20? Even if you have passwords saved on multiple devices, and the geniuses over at Apple are scanning your face, there is still a good chance that you have to type in those 8-10 characters including a capital letter, a number, and a symbol multiple times a day.
So if you are typing in your password so often, make it something that means something to you. For a long time I was using an assigned password that included the letters REO. I kept the password and always typed it in while singing a REO Speedwagon song. Fun, but not helpful.
Then when that password expired I switched it to something that was more meaningful – my big career goal. Now I type that goal in everyday and I’m reminded of why I am logging into that computer in the first place. It sets my mind right and keeps me focused even on a subconscious level. Easy!
2. The One Minute Rule
My favorite productivity and time management blogger, Paula from I’m Busy Being Awesome, knows a thing or two about goal setting and goal achieving.
I learned the one minute rule from her and it’s as simple as it is game changing. If you can do a task in one minute, then don’t put it off, just do it.
This applies to anything in your life. Putting socks in the hamper, recycling the mail, returning a text.
When it comes to achieving your career goals, this rule is particularly helpful with email. Email sucks up so much of our time, often because we are reading the same message over and over and saying “I’ll reply to that later.” If you can reply in one minute, do it. Move on. You have other fish to fry and projects to get moving on.
3. Subscribe to a Podcast
I love podcasts for entertainment, business, writing, and entrepreneurship. My phone is filled with storytelling podcasts, humor podcasts, and podcasts specifically focused on achieving your career goals.
So while you can’t listen to a podcast in one minute, you can subscribe to a podcast or download an episode about career goals. After you finish this article, go to the Podcasts icon on your phone and search “Goals.” You’re going to find dozens of people ready to talk to you on your next commute or jog about going after your big dreams and making things happen.
4. Write Your Career Goals Down
A goal that you haven’t written down is a dream. Someone smart probably said that once.
If you want to advance your career and have a big goal in mind, get it out of your mind and onto some paper or typed onto a page. When you write down your goal and leave it somewhere that you will refer back to it often, some very cool things are going to happen.
First of all, you remember it. That’s why you took notes in college, to remember the material. This big goal of yours, you’re going to want to remember that too. All the time.
Second, if you make your goal a SMART goal. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound) that time-bound piece is going to set a fire under your buns.
I have one big career goal right now that I have broken down into 5 sub-goals and each of those are broken down into mini-goals. The big goal is written down, the sub-goals are written down, and the mini-goals are listed at the beginning of each month of my planner with a date that I should achieve them by. No messing around, it’s written down.
5. Say Yes to Water
“Can I get you some water?” – Your friend asks as you plop down on her couch and your children all go running amok.
“No, I’m fine.” – You say, depriving yourself of hydration for some odd reason.
Water is important to our survival, yet four out of five Americans don’t drink enough water. Myself very much included. I have the IV marks on my arms to prove it.
But water gives us energy and keeps us functioning. To achieve your goals, any goals, you need energy and to be functioning. Go ahead and say yes when someone asks you if you want some water, it’s cool, they offered! Or go get the water yourself. Or bring a water bottle with you. It’s a simple change that makes your body and mind feel better.
Advance your career with water. Like Beyonce. Probably.
6. Advance Your Career by Getting Anti-Social
Social media is so much fun, and so incredibly distracting.
While writing this article there have been six different times that I thought, oh maybe I’ll go check something on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. None of those places would have the statistic I was looking for. They probably would have had some funny memes, but those memes would not have gotten me any closer to my goal.
To shake the social media habit just a smidge and use my time more productively, I turned off social media notifications on my phone. No red numbers staring me down means I’m not grabbing at my phone every time someone likes that truly hilarious thing I wrote one time. Because as much as I love laugh cry emojis, hanging out on Insta for more time than I should is going to take time away from writing articles, editing my book, and working on coaching client’s cover letters.
Go to settings on your phone, turn off your notifications and taste the sweet taste of social media freedom. Take it another step further and set some downtime on your phone so that it will shame you into not using it during certain periods of the day. My screen time is down, my productivity is up. Get it girl.
7. Advance Your Career by Getting More Social
Now that I’ve gotten all holier than thou about social media, time for some real talk. I’m totally going to get on social media after I finish writing this. I mean what if there are more pictures of Archie Windsor? So much could be happening out in the world!
If you’re going to get on social media like I totally am, use it to your advantage. The like button or the double tap is the easiest way to give your head nod of approval to something online, but it does absolutely nothing to build connections with other people. So get to commenting.
You can go it alone to achieve your career goals, but the more efficient way to do it is to build connections with other people.
Social media based example. Are you hoping to build a photography business? Follow other photographers on Instagram and comment on their posts. They will appreciate the engagement, you get to start building a connection because you are sharing your thoughts and experience. That connection could lead to a collaboration, or answers to your questions from someone who has walked this path before.
Maybe LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Twitter is the better platform for your particular career goals, but you get the idea! Take the extra minute and talk instead of tap.
8. Update Your LinkedIn
Speaking of LinkedIn, get your professional social media in good shape! Doing a full overhaul of your LinkedIn is going to take longer than one minute, but here are six things you can do with your LinkedIn profile in one minute or less.
Start a LinkedIn account
Create a LinkedIn account and fill in the basics like your name, current job, and past jobs.
To add more detail to each role pull from your resume. Need help with that resume too? I’ve got you!
Update your LinkedIn summary
Your summary can be as simple as two to three sentences about your professional profile and goals, or go into a bit more detail. Like a (very) mini cover letter.
Read more on why summaries matter here.
Connect with me on LinkedIn!
On LinkedIn, I share my own career development content as well as other articles on professional development and working parenthood from thought leaders around the country. I’d love to share those with you too! Let’s be professional buds.
Or invite someone else to connect on LinkedIn. I won’t be offended, just connect!
Update your LinkedIn URL
Most LinkedIn URLs are a long string of letters and numbers somewhat containing your name. It looks a little wonky.
You can edit this easily when you go to your profile by clicking Edit Public Profile and URL. Change your URL to just your first name.last name or first initial.last name. Something along those lines. It looks a lot cleaner that way when you include your LinkedIn profile on your resume and is easier to search.
Share an article on LinkedIn
Being active on LinkedIn puts your name and face in front of past or future colleagues who could help you move forward with your career goals. If you find a great article related to your industry, hit the share button and start making yourself more visible.
Turn on “open to career opportunities”
Show recruiters that you are open to new opportunities, without blowing up your spot at your current job. Check out the video below for instructions on this.
9. Change Your Words
There’s a tip in Rachel Martin’s book The Brave Art of Motherhood that I just love. Have you ever found yourself rushing your kids out the door and yelling “we’re going to be late!” Yeah… me too.
So did Rachel, and it wasn’t working. To turn things around she decided to change her words so that the goal she was focusing on was right there in her statement. By saying “we’re going to be late” that sounded like the goal, or perhaps the inevitable outcome. By saying, “put on your shoes right now so we can be on time” there was a mindset shift. Being on time was the focus on the sentence instead of being late.
And it worked! Moving her kids out the door started to become a lot easier because they were working towards a common goal, and a stated goal, together.
Try changing up how you talk about your career goals in order to move closer to them. Instead of “if I don’t get this project done on time I won’t get the promotion” try “I want to finish this project on time so I will get the promotion.” Instead of “if I watch TV tonight I’ll never get my website updated” try “I’ll take a break from TV tonight so I can get my website updated.”
Taking out the nots and won’ts in your words and replacing them with can and wills is a more positive approach, and it takes WAY less than a minute.
Advance Your Career, Right Now!
Kudos to you for spending some of your precious minutes to learn how to advance your career one minute at a time. Now go get to achieving your career goals!
You’ve got this!