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Standing Out From the Pack: How to Optimize Your Work Experience

Published: September 15, 2014 | Updated: August 12, 2016

Did you know that every job you hold can be an opportunity? Working in a fast food restaurant teaches you a lot about customer service. Being a cashier can help you understand the fundamentals of business math. All the jobs you hold before you find the career you really want can be stepping stones to success, as long as you optimize your work experiences.

Here are 6 ways your work experience can help you stand out from the pack:

Try to find jobs that match your natural talents. When you’re a good fit to your job—whatever it is—you’re more likely to do a good job! Whether you’re working in retail because you love clothes or at a warehouse because you like physical work, bring a great work ethic to all you do. You’ll be recognized for a job well-done.

Choose a job that fits your end goal. Answering phones may not be your dream job, but if you’d really like to work as a medical assistant someday, working as a physician's receptionistcan give you some great insight.

Make connections. The people you work with and customers you serve can all be a part of your new professional network. Maybe some of them already work in the career you want. Do you want to work with animals as a veterinary assistant? Well the people you know who have pets also have vets! Ask about them and learn.

Keep track of all you do. The best time to build your resume is while you’re actually doing the jobs listed on it. If you want to become a business leader someday, then make sure to document all the leadership roles you’ve played already. And be specific. If you’re a store manager, include the kind and number of employees you manage.

Ask for recommendations. If you’re doing a great job at your current job, don’t hesitate to ask your current supervisor to write you a recommendation when the time comes. Someone who’s willing to  vouch for your good habits can help you turn your next job into a career.

Further your education while you work.  College education is still an excellent return on the investment. A college degree earns graduates about 15% over the course of their career.* So think about  going to school while you’re working. Consider flexible programs that fit with your life by offering a mix of on campus, online and blended learning programs. Some programs even give you credit for your work and military experience so you can fast track your way to a new career.

At Charter College, we know our students bring their own personal talents, abilities and work experiences to our campuses and we’re happy to have them. If you’re ready to get started on the path to a new career, check out all we have to offer. We have programs in business, criminal justice, health care, hospitality, information technology, paralegal studies, the trades and more. To learn more check us out at Charter College . Classes are enrolling soon!