When you are looking to advance your career, you need to define what your next steps are. It is important to understand what you really want deep down because you can get stuck chasing the wrong goals. Continue reading to learn five things to do outside of work to advance your career.

  1. Build a Diverse Network

It is important to build up your network outside of work. You should diversify and find people with the same goals and values as you, but make sure that you include people outside of your area of expertise. You can learn more skills, and you will have the necessary contacts if you do want to change paths.

  1. Have a Great Online Profile

In business, LinkedIn is the place people go for professional networking. You should optimize your profile and make sure that you create profiles on other platforms that people in your industry use. It is important because you will have access to information about new trends or other opportunities when they come up.

  1. Be Responsive

If someone contacts you on one of your online platforms, be sure to respond. You can’t develop relationships if you get a reputation of someone who only responds when you want something. Check your profiles regularly and be sure to respond to anyone who contacts you.

  1. Become a Thought Leader

A thought leader is someone who shares their ideas and inspires others. You can publish guest blogs or give soundbites to the media to share your thoughts on industry-related issues. Make sure that people understand what you are good at, and you will start to learn who your target audience is. As you get better at it, consider doing some speaking engagements.

  1. Become a Leader in the Community

When you take on a leadership role, you can meet colleagues outside of your job. You can also gain experience running meetings, making a budget, organizing events, and more. Find a community organization that matters to you and get involved so that you can become a stronger force in the community.