5 Things to Have in Your Career Toolbox

This concept dropped into my head during a walk (as most of my best ideas do) and I thought it was important to share. These 5 things are things that I've needed to have along my career path but didn't have them at the time I needed them. I either have had to scramble to get them together in time or I missed an opportunity entirely. SO, in an effort to protect you from my mistakes, here are the 5 things to have in your career toolbox!

1. Your Three Magic Numbers

  • Your Hourly Rate: Calculate your current hourly rate (unless you are already hourly) and double it. You can come up and down on this number depending on the opportunity. 
  • Your Desired Salary: If you are applying for a position that would be a step up, make sure you know what you are looking to make. Research other positions to make sure you aren't asking too little and DON'T BE AFRAID to ask for a big number. You deserve it. 
  • Your Minimum Salary: What is the least amount of money you can take home and still feel comfortable? This is important to know in case a dream job comes along but *eek* you might have to take a pay cut. Knowing this number will help you know if it is worth pursuing or not.

2. An Updated Resume

Your resume should always be ready to send to someone (give or take a few tweaks). Don't let too much time pass between updating it. Need an updated resume? Learn more about resume coaching here

3. A Professional Brand Statement

If resumes didn't exist, and you could only submit one sentence to a future employer as to what type of employee you'd be, what would that sentence say? This statement can be used in your elevator speech, your resume or on your LinkedIn profile. 

Remember: you have more to offer than just your current title. You are not just a Business Analyst You are 'a strategic thinking team player'.

4. A Professional Development Plan

You should always have an idea of what's next in your career, even if it is vague. You never know when a position may come across your desk. It's easier to plan ahead than to determine on the spot if something is right for you. 

5. A Networking Plan

My dad once told me "the best time to look for a job is when you don't need one". The same thing applies to networking. The best time to grow your network is when you don't need one. 

Here are some past posts on networking: 

5 Things to Do Before You Get Started

Choosing a New Perspective on Networking

3 New Ways to Look at Networking


If you could rate yourself on where you currently stand on having these 5 things ready to go on a scale of 1 (nada) to 10 (perfect student), where would you be? 

Until next time, 

Kelsey