How to Grow Your Career Prospects as a Blue-Collar Worker

Where are you right now? Where do you want to be next year? In five years? Chances are, your goals and dreams for yourself grow bigger as you look farther ahead in time. We all think of ourselves as constantly learning new things and expanding our horizons, but what steps actually help you grow your career prospects and bring you closer to your goals?

Expand Your Skillset

Regardless of your chosen career, you have developed a core set of skills that are necessary for your daily job. These skills may be extremely focused and specialized, but you continue to hone them until you can do your job faster, more accurately or with fewer mistakes.

But what about skills that fall outside your specific trade? A plumber doesn’t necessarily need to know how to lay tile, but it can often help with the job! Becoming a generalized handyman can let you make more appropriate estimates, recommendations and even find unique solutions to problems in your daily job.

That doesn’t mean you should try to be an expert in everything. Focusing on vertical growth in your chosen field is where most of your effort should go. But horizontal growth across several unique skillsets is what will make you stand out among the crowd in your area. You may even find new things that you enjoy doing more!

Get Involved with Your Community

Opportunities don’t actually “come knocking.” You have to find them. What better place to start looking than right around you? Every local community, from townships to counties have dozens to hundreds of events and gatherings every year. In some cases, they need help that you can provide with your professional experience, in other cases, they just need volunteers.

Either way, being involved with your community is one way to help grow your career prospects by quickly expanding your network. You’ll meet people in a professional or casual capacity, get your name out there and establish relationships that can help you find new business or new learning opportunities.

In addition to that, being involved in your community is a great way to work on personal character traits that are critical to progress, like persistence, vision and generosity.

But Don’t Forget to Get Involved Outside Your Community Too

If you’re looking for work or run your own business, it’s easy to fall into a slump looking locally for new jobs or business. But there’s only so much you can accomplish in your corner of the world.

With the never-ending growth of the internet, it’s easier than ever to get your name out there to people in neighboring cities to expand your job hunt or service area.

This is a critical step for aspiring entrepreneurs who feel they’ve hit a plateau in their revenue. If you’re only focused on one city, you’ve capped your potential for growth. Growing your career requires stepping outside of your comfort zone – sometimes literally! 

Learn How to Delegate

No person can do it alone. That’s why networking is so important. At a certain point, your experience and knowledge become better used as a tool for leadership and delegation. This is the first real step towards growing a business after stepping out to be your own boss.

Being a mentor, delegating responsibilities and leading the way for others to grow their own careers will be a significant part of your own growth. The more effective a leader you are, the bigger you can expand. This is how a single entrepreneur can grow into the owner of a small business that spans multiple locations, cities or even states! 

Why Is Career Growth So Important?

No matter what career you choose or end up in, progress is what keeps you motivated and helps you reach the goals you have outside your career. Stagnation can be a major problem that discourages you from giving your best and working towards your goals.

Career growth means many things to many people, but it’s one of the easiest forms of progress to identify, especially in blue-collar work. Taking on new responsibilities, more responsibilities or being given additional independence are all parts of career growth that make people feel better about their work.

When you take clear steps to grow your career, you influence where you end up and how long it takes you to get there. Instead of waiting for opportunities, you can reach a level of personal satisfaction that few can find – through achieving your goals one step at a time.

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Ken Rusk is a blue-collar entrepreneur who has started several successful endeavors and mentored hundreds of young people in their pursuit of a satisfying career and fulfilling life.

Discover how Ken’s approach to life and work can help you set and achieve your goals – all while avoiding the nearly inescapable trap of college debt. Pre-order his new book, Blue Collar Cool: How to Earn Without the College Burn today!

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