'Knowing you want change and actually taking steps to initiate change are two very different things,' says Kaplan University Dean Dr. Sara Sander. 'Too many people feel stuck in their careers. Rather than settling for the status quo, people should view change as an opportunity.'
Sander suggests starting small so you can get used to the idea of change. If you're currently employed, set up a meeting with your supervisor and communicate your desire for new responsibilities and challenges. If you have ideas for what you'd like to do, share them and demonstrate your enthusiasm.
If you are unemployed, small steps might include looking for jobs that are outside what you'd traditionally apply for. Jobs in your industry, but with varying responsibilities, might provide the challenge you crave. In addition, make a list of top companies you'd like to work for. If there are no job openings, set up informational interviews with the human resource department.
'It's important to consider big steps that can really give your career a boost, too,' adds Sander. 'This is when education and additional training can really make a big impact.'
Whether you want to take a few classes to hone your skills, are looking to start an entirely new degree program, or want to finish a degree you started years ago, online college classes are making it easier to get ahead in your career.
Kaplan University offers flexible scheduling so students can design a program that works with their life plans. Have a full-time job? Take classes in the evenings and on weekends. Are you a stay-at-home parent? Take classes when it's convenient for your family. Attending college classes online is simple for anyone with a computer and Internet connection - you do not need to be tech savvy to complete an online degree.
If you're unsure if online education is right for you and worry about the financial commitment, Kaplan makes it easy to embark on a new degree program with the opportunity to experience it through the 'Kaplan Commitment'. You can attend classes, study and interact with teachers and other students for three weeks without any financial obligation beyond the application fee.
No matter what you decide to do, any time you make a life change it's important to build a support network of people who can help keep you motivated. Be sure to communicate with friends, family and loved ones about your goals, and surround yourself with positive influences who can offer help when needed.
From stepping outside your comfort zone at work and asking for more responsibility to embarking on a new educational adventure and completing a college degree, there's no better time to rev up your career. Will you settle for the status quo or make the effort to advance your career? The choice is up to you.