We all wish we could take our career to the next level, escape the confines of such sucky pay, get a job that makes us feel like we’re not wasting our lives and just, well, start climbing that cliched career ladder instead of being stuck in neutral.
The problem is how do you challenge yourself, learn new skills, expand your horizons and do all that personal development stuff when you have almost absolutely zero spare time in the day as it is?
Well, what if we told you it was possible to elevate your career using that spare ten-minutes you have while waiting for the next episode of Westworld to air, or while you’re sat in the waiting room at a client’s office, or even when you’re sat doing your business in the bathroom. Oh yeah. That’s all you need. Just ten minutes here and there is plenty of time to start boosting your career prospects. You just haven’t gotten into the habit yet. You’re still using all these ten-minute blocks to scroll through Instagram, stalk your ex on Facebook, see what knew Snapchat filters there are, see if there are any cool Insta-dads in the world or watch weird videos on YouTube.
The point is: this needs to stop. It needs to be replaced with something more proactive on the career front. And to help you understand exactly what we’re talking about, we’ve gone and pulled together a list of things you can do in just ten-minutes that will help you boost your career and get you to where you want to be, and in less time than it takes to make a club sandwich. How epic is that?!
Have A Plan For The Day Ahead
When you head to the gym, you have a plan of what you want to achieve so that you’re workout is way more effective. If you didn’t then you would just wander around aimlessly doing a bit of legs, a bit of arms and a bit of running without any real idea of why. So why don’t you apply the same meticulous planning to your day while you’re on your way in? Set out what you intend to achieve and prioritize this into order of importance. By doing this, you’re going to achieve two super-duper important things: you’re going to make yourself more efficient and effective in your current role, which will lead to career progression (hopefully), and you’re going to be more effective with your time, which will mean you have more time to spend on actually progressing your career, your way, using the tips we’ve laid out below. It’s the double-whammy.
Soak Up Your Industry’s News
There is no way you can progress as fast as you’re hoping too if you keep thinking small and don’t understand how your role doing what you do fits into the much bigger picture. The best thing you can do is to dedicate ten minutes a day to soaking up the news in your industry, seeing what trends are emerging, who’s doing what and basically getting a better idea of what factors are currently pushing your industry forward. You could even try and figure out what the big challenges facing your company are because these will be playing on your boss’ mind and that will make you more empathetic and important in their eyes. Don’t worry, you can use things like Google Alerts and the Apple News app to make sure you get all the industry-specific news you need. You could even scan the most important headlines out there on Twitter if you’re really pushed for time.
Get Emailing Peeps In Your Network
One of the worst things you can do is only email people when you need or want something from them. It will just make them feel a little used and will make your relationship feel fifty shades of forced, not to mention transactional too. It’s a much better idea to try and build better relationships by staying in constant contact with people in your network , seeing how people are, if there is anything you can do to help them out, if they want to meet up for a coffee, or to lend them a favor, instead of always asking them for a favor. It literally takes less than five minutes to ping someone a friendly email saying, “hi, how are you?” and it builds rapport, the kind that will make it feel far more natural and easy when you need to reach out in the future. Besides, you never know what doors might open up from this kind of friendly conversing.
Listen To Podcasts Whenever You Can
Podcasts are the newest way to absorb information. But what makes them super special is the fact you can soak up this information while doing something else at the same time. So instead of plugging in your favorite Spotify playlist, try plugging into a podcast and gaining a new perspective on something while you walk to work each morning. It could be a Podcast that’s related to your career, or it might be about personal development, organization, or anything like that. If you don’t know where to start, have a quick Google, or take our word that The Lively Show and The Tim Ferriss Show are both great.
Book An Online Course
We live in the Internet age and that means you can pretty much gain a degree or a qualification in anything without actually having to go and live on a campus for three years. It means you can boost your career while you’re still in a career. That’s amazing. It could mean you do an online masters in information systems or add social media management to your toolbox, or perfecting the art of photography to build your side hustles professional look or just your own personal branding. It doesn’t matter what you opt for so long as it is going to boost your career in some way or improve your chances to move into the career you really want. What’s more, it only takes ten minutes to actually apply for a course, which is the hardest part. Once you’ve booked on, you’ll figure a way to fit it all in. Even if that means asking your current employer for flexible working hours to complete a course that will make you better at doing your job. Clever, huh.
Get On The TED Talk Bandwagon
One thing we could all do with is a little bit more inspiration. Just a ten-minute dollop of the stuff on a daily basis. That should do it. And there is no better way of getting this hit than to watch a TED Talk in the morning, while you’re slurping on your coffee and chomping your way through a bowl of natural yogurt and granola. Or if this is too much of a rush, you could just plug in some headphones and watch a TED Talk on the subway into work. When you watch it is irrelevant though. The point is: listening to amazing entrepreneurs and thought leaders giving TED Talks will give you a jolt of new ideas and a fresh perspective on things. Whatever it is you do, you can be sure you’ll find a talk on the matter. But one of our absolute favorites is “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by the infectious Simon Sinek.
Scroll Through Some Job Boards
There is so much good to be had from a quick ten-minute scroll certain job boards, looking at the different ads up there. The first big benefit of this is pretty obvious: if you’re looking for a new job then you need to be looking at what jobs are out there and doing this in ten-minute sessions will make it feel a lot less overwhelming. That’s pretty much a fact. The other major benefit of looking at different job postings is gathering important intel on what employers are looking for in order for you to move forward with your career. That means the sort of qualifications they want from you, the sorts of soft skills, how much experience is necessary and, who knows, even where you need to relocate to. This is such a great way to improve the hand you have because, as we all know, knowledge is power.
Get Brainstorming With Those Ten Minutes
We all have those moments where we’re not sure what we’re doing with our life or what we want to be doing with it. It doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of college or you’re in a career slump after ten years of grinding – we all go through these moments. The problem is trying to answer these questions, especially when the thoughts are just swirling about your brain. It makes much more sense to sit down for ten minutes and try and discover what your dream job is. That means knowing what talents are needed for it, what the company culture is like, how much you’ll get paid to do the job, what sort of work-life balance you are after, how much stress you can realistically handle and where in the world you want to be. Don’t think about a specific role or anything, just focus on you and what would make you happier. It could be a people-facing role, working from home, traveling on the job, anything. Once you know what it is, Google jobs that fit your description.
See, it only takes ten minutes to make progress.