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Want To Further Your Career? Here’s How To Do It!

There is no one in the world who wants to continue to be at the bottom of their career. There are very few who get into a junior position in a company and choose to stay there because they know how to do it. They aim for the top spot, the CEO seat. They want to be the department manager, pushing themselves to the top of their career and not settling for anything less.

If you find that you are staring at the same four walls of the cubicle that you stepped into a decade ago, then you need to give yourself a shake.

You cannot complain about your job while continuing to walk the same steps day in and day out. It’s just not okay to stay stuck – especially when you’re not okay with being stuck where you are! You could be advancing slowly, or you could have a possible future in the company in which you currently work. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t progress. Progression is what gets you from the current workspace to something better, more satisfying and – often – with better pay.

You deserve to have the very best future you can have, and that’s why we’ve got some excellent tips to help you to further your career. Don’t stay stuck in a position you hate when there is a whole world out there for you to conquer and do well in. Let’s check out those tips!

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Career Development | Want To Further Your Career? Here's How To Do It!

Give Yourself Some Goals

Setting goals is a standard tip for anyone who is looking to do better in their career, but you need to think about this carefully. Goals need to be listed to keep you focused, and as you move upward through your chosen industry, you should consider making your goals smaller. Yes, your overall goal may be to own a company, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set small goals to get you where you need to be. If you know what you want, break it down as to how you plan to get there and achieve each of those little steps.

Get Educated

What do you need to have under your belt to get where you need to be? It’s a big question to ask yourself, as if you don’t have the right piece of paper in some roles, you may find that you can’t get very far. For example, your IT degree may get you so far in the industry, but upskilling to a Masters in IT Security? That could get you so much further than you ever expected. Education is often the key you need to get you to an entirely new life. The more you learn, the more you can achieve, so check out what education you need to get to that next step.

Ask – Don’t Demand

If you feel like you are being wasted in the position that you are in, ask for more. Your employer is supposed to be supportive of your goals, and you will find that you may need to ask for the things that you want if you want to get ahead. It’s in their interest to help you to get that step up and do better. After all, your skills are going to help them to be successful. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do better and get higher in your organization, and most employers covet that level of ambition. Keep working hard and approach your manager with a list of reasons you feel you are ready for a promotion. You need to be able to argue your point correctly and talk through your reasons if you hope to have a good outcome.

Rethink Your Resume

How does your resume look right now? You want to ensure that you look like an attractive candidate for any job for which you apply. If your resume is looking pretty bare right now, start looking at ways you could improve it. Are there courses you could attend to thicken it? Are there better options in your job? Could you be doing more? Add to your statement of service, too, and make your resume look slick and ready!

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Career Development | Want To Further Your Career? Here's How To Do It!

Know Your Passion

No matter what you are passionate about, it would help if you went after it. If you are not working in an industry for which you feel passionate, then get out of it. Nothing is stopping you from going after your passions, except you. Find out what they are and figure out what skills you need to be successful at it. Then go and get trained, educated, or whatever you need for it to go well.

Accept “No” Graciously

You want to step up and further your career, and that’s going to come with a ton of rejection. However, it would help if you didn’t allow this to be a problem for you. Take their no and use it to fuel your goals. Never take that first rejection as the only answer for you – push forward and follow your heart to success.

Start A Side Hustle

Any job that you want will require your focus. A side hustle in that specific field will give you all the fuel that you need for success. Start small and work around your permanent job. Over time, you’ll be able to build up and do more. Eventually, your side hustle could be your only hustle, and that is what will propel you forward!

Communicate Your Needs Well

One of the biggest secrets to success lies in the way in which you deal with other people. If you know how to communicate well, you can build connections with the right people in your field and get the job offer, raise or promotion that you need.

Right now, you feel stuck, with nowhere to go. You need to pull your socks up and make life happen for you. If you want a better career, go and do what you can to get that career. There is nothing out there stopping you – except you.

How to Get SQF Certified: The Only Guide You Need to Read

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | How to Get SQF Certified: The Only Guide You Need to Read | SQF CertifiedCurrently, there are over 30,000 food and beverage processing plants in the United States.  That’s according to the latest data from the Census Bureau’s economic census in 2012.

Any establishment that’s involved in the production, manufacturing, processing, storing, transporting, distribution, or selling of food or beverages should have a rigorous and reliable food safety management system. One of the surest ways to guarantee food safety is by becoming SQF certified.

SQF certification is highly recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. It’s the chief production certification in the manufacture, distribution, and agent management of food. By becoming SQF certified, you’re demonstrating your commitment to providing your supply chain and clients with products of the highest quality.

In this comprehensive guide, we tell you all you need to know about SQF certification, including how to get certified. Read on to learn more.

What Is SQF?

First off, SQF stands for Safe Quality Food. The SQF program is a food safety management certification scheme that controls food safety risks. The program is developed and managed by the SQF Institute.

As soon as you’ve finished implementing your food safety management system, a third-party certifying body audits and certifies it.

Why Should You Get SQF Certified?

Over the years, an increasing number of food establishments have been taking on the challenge of obtaining SQF certification. But what is SQF certification good for? Below are four reasons.

To Build Trust

The modern consumer only buys food they trust. Retailers and foodservice providers refrain from selling products that don’t guarantee their customer’s safety. Having an SQF certification, therefore, can help put your clients’ minds at ease.

To Manage Risk

A robust food management system enables your company to manage food safety hazards effectively. You get to create an environment where you can consistently produce safe products.

To Retain Current Customers

An increasing number of companies want their suppliers to become certified as well. To remain competitive and retain existing customers, food companies are now taking SQF certification very seriously.

To Broaden Your Market Reach

The top multinational manufacturers and retailers now demand that companies that supply them with products become SQF certified. If you’ve been thinking of doing business with these large companies, getting certified is an excellent place to start.

The SQF Certification Process

So how does one get SQF certified? Below is a step-by-step guide.

1. Understand the SQF Code

The first step to achieving SQF certification involves learning about the program and the SQF Code. There are many ways to do this. Below are some suggestions:

  • Take an online training course on how to implement SQF systems
  • Train yourself using SQF documents available for free online
  • Visit a licensed SQF training center to attend a course on implementing SQF systems
  • Attend a seminar or information day on SQF certification
  • Take an online exam on implementing SQF systems

2. Register Your Food Company With the SQFI Assessment Database

Now that you have a good grasp of what the SQF program and Code are all about, it’s time to register your company with the SQFI assessment database. You’ll need to pay a registration fee based on your company’s gross sales. You can check out the registration fee structure online.

3. Appoint a Chief SQF Practitioner in Your Company

An essential SQF requirement before certification is for your company to have an individual who’ll serve as the internal expert on SQF. You may need to organize for SQF training for one of your employees to take up this role.

4. Choose the SQF Certification Level

Generally, companies can choose from three levels of SQF certification.

  • Level 1 is meant for low-risk products: this level incorporates essential food safety controls
  • Level 2 is a fully certified HACCP food safety scheme that is benchmarked by GFSI
  • Level 3 involves a comprehensive implementation of the safety and quality management systems

5. Getting Quotes from SQF Certification Bodies

This step entails contacting a reputable SQF certification body to get details of the certification audit and get quotes.

6. Conduct a Pre-Assessment

This step aims at identifying any gaps that may stand between your food safety program and the level of certification you desire. A pre-assessment can be done by your SQF practitioner or an external SQF auditor. While this step is optional, it can significantly benefit your company.

7. Book an Audit With a Certification Body

There are licensed SQF certification bodies scattered around the country. Choose one near you and contact them for an audit of your company.

8. Go Through Certification Audits

Once you’ve settled on a credible certification body and invited them to audit your company, they’ll focus on facility assessment and document reviews.

What Next?

Upon the completion of all the steps above, the SQF body will now make a certification decision. If your company achieves a “C-complies” audit rating or higher, you’ll be awarded an SQF certification.

How Does Long It Take to Get Certified?

The preparation for SQF registration can be quite involved. You’ll need to build a food safety management system, document that system, and implement it within your organization. On average, it takes between 8 and 12 months to get ready for certification.

Of course, the time frame for certification may be longer or shorter than the average, depending on your company’s specific circumstances.

Once your facility has been audited, you’ll get a certification decision from the SQF certification body within 45 days. After you’ve been certified, you’ll get a certification number from the SQF Institute. This number is unique to your organization’s site.

SQF Certification Costs

The process of achieving SQF certification comes at a cost, both in terms of time and money. We already mentioned that the preparation for SQF certification could take up to a year. In this section, we’ll tackle some of the areas you’ll need to spend money on.

An SQF Practitioner

As stated earlier, every organization that wants to get SQF certified must have an internal SQF practitioner. That practitioner must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a full-time member of staff in your company
  • Have gone through a HACCP based course
  • Have a good understanding of the SQF code
  • Know how to implement and maintain Agricultural And Manufacturing Best Practices
  • Understand the requirements for implementing and maintaining the SQF system.

You can consider hiring an expert who’s already certified and has industry experience or choose to appoint one of your existing personnel and train them. If you choose the latter, you’ll need to budget for the training and certification expenses. Factor in how much you’re going to be paying the employee in terms of SQF practitioner salary.

An SQF Consultant

You may be wondering why you have to pay an SQF consultant when you already have a full-time SQF practitioner in your company. Well, chances are your full-time SQF expert will need assistance when developing an SQF program or in perfecting certain aspects of the program. This may require you to engage the services of a third-party consultant.

The costs of hiring an SQF consultant can vary. Typically, consultants charge you hourly rates based on their level of experience. The final cost will depend on:

  • The scope of the project
  • How elaborate the process is
  • How much your internal SQF practitioner can accomplish without third-party help

Re-Certification Fees

After you’ve obtained SQF certification, you’ll need to get re-certified every year to remain compliant. The cost of recertification varies according to the size of the facility, the number of HACC plans you have, and how many employees you have.

Site Preparation Costs

The biggest chunk of time and money goes to preparing your site for SQF certification. Generally, you must ensure that your physical building and the equipment you use pose no physical, biological, or chemical contamination risk to your final product.

Some of the things you’ll need to invest in include:

  • Suitable materials for various surfaces—the materials you use should not be corrosive—similarly, they shouldn’t be easily breakable or wear down, ending up in the ingredients or final product (avoid copper, wood, glass, and rigid plastics)
  • Proper floor drainage—if any of your processes involve the use of water you need to set up drains at the right places to let the water leave (bacteria and other pathogens thrive in damp conditions)
  • Ease of cleaning—keep potential contaminants away from your surfaces and equipment (in part by ensuring the materials used for your surfaces and equipment are easy to clean)

Other site preparation costs involve ample lighting, proper ventilation, enough storage space, and appropriate water quality. The site must also be able to keep the final product safe from pests and other contaminants from the outside environment.

Getting SQF Certification Is Good for Your Business

Getting SQF certified isn’t something that only giant suppliers should do. Every organization that deals with food can benefit from this certification. The SQF Code helps you boost your food safety management system, which is good for both your business and your clients.

Would you like to read more great content like this? Please keep visiting our blog.

Signs You’re In The Wrong Job

It happens to all of us from time to time: you wake up one day to find that you are suddenly in the wrong job, and maybe have been for a long time. It is always disconcerting when that happens, and can actually be extremely worrying if you feel stuck and you don’t know what to do. But it does happen to everyone probably at least once or twice in their life, and by itself it is not necessarily a problem that you need to be concerned about. The thing to be concerned about is knowing whether or not it is just a pang, or whether you really do need to start thinking about getting another job. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the clear-as-day signs that you might be in the wrong job. If you spot any of these, then you know it might be time to move on to something better.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Wrong Job | Signs You're In The Wrong Job
 
It’s Making You Sick

This is one of those signs that you absolutely can’t ignore. It is one of the most serious too, and it’s something that you will definitely want to think about paying attention to should it becomes obvious that it is happening. If it gets to a point where your work is actually making you sick, then you will find that there is no clearer indication in the world that it is time to move on to a better job. But the question of course is how to know that it is the job making you sick, and not just that you are getting sick generally. You should be able to tell if, for instance, you tend to feel unwell when you have been working a lot, and then better on your days off. It might be as simple as the stress getting the better of you. That is a sign that you should really think about moving on.

Or it might even be more serious than that. Sometimes, you will get sick from a job because of the company’s poor approach to health and safety. This, again, is a real red flag, and one which you should wave to other people too, to help warn them of the company in question. At the extreme end of the scale, you might be working for a business that allows asbestos to be in use, and you could develop something as serious as cancer. If that does happen, you should be able to find a firm that handles claims of all sizes of this kind, and hopefully get what you are owed. But it is definitely a sign that nobody should be working for that company.

Sometimes it is a smaller infraction, but still something that shows that you should go elsewhere. For instance, if there is a constant attitude towards health which you find is making you a little sicker, then you should think about moving on to another job soon enough. As long as you are paying attention to these signs, you will hopefully move on before you get too ill, so that at least it doesn’t affect you all that much in the long run.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Wrong Job | Signs You're In The Wrong Job
 
You Dread Going In

We’ve all been in that one job where we absolutely dreaded going into work. This is a horrible feeling to have, and if you do have it you should take it as a very clear sign that it is time to change jobs. Of course, you should wait it out a little first, to make sure that it is not just a temporary thing. These times can happen, and you are unlikely to be in love with your job every day of your life. But if you find that a feeling of dread persists, then it is no use remaining in that work – you should feel free to take yourself out of it as soon as you possibly can. Make sure that you identify what it is that you dread about it, however. If you are not entirely sure, you could end up accidentally recreating the same situation in another job, whereas if you are aware of what it is that is making you miserable, you can make a point of avoiding that as best as you can in the future too. That will lead to a much better quality of life.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Wrong Job | Signs You're In The Wrong Job
 
You Complain About It

You might have noticed that you have started to talk more and more about what is wrong with your job, or that you are even just complaining about it in your head. These are signs too which should not be ignored. Probably the clearest indicator is if your friends say to you that you have been complaining about your work non-stop, especially if you didn’t even realize up to that point. When that happen, that can be an incredibly alarming situation, and it can really have a way of stopping you dead in your tracks. Once you notice just how often you complain, you can be sure that you are soon enough going to want to change jobs – and it is much better to put your energy into doing that, rather than the act of complaining itself, as much as you possibly can. Complaining is an indicator, but it’s not healthy to dwell in it too much, so make sure that you are able to get yourself out of it wherever that might be necessary.

You Dream Of Something Else

One of the more positive signs you can have is that you are constantly dreaming of doing something else for a living. This is one of the better indicators for the simple fact that it means you have a clear direction to move in. If you have a specific role in mind that you would just love to do, then you know that that is probably what you should aim for, and it makes sense to do so as soon as possible. The less time you waste on a job you don’t love, the better your life will be, so make sure that you are paying attention to yourself should you start to dream about another job in this way.

Change a Career in a Successful Way (Step-by-Step)

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals ArticleIs the work challenging? Do you think your career decisions were great? Do you really like your career growth? All the answers lead to a negative feeling? If so, it is time to change all these things and think about next steps.

Your career should make you happy and offer you a work-life balance. It is sometimes better to forget about your current job. Maybe you need to start a new job, where you can use all your skills. Or it is possible to make your current position much better for your career growth?

There are several reasons for changing your career and some steps that will help you do it.

Signs That Your Career Needs to be Changed

Your dissatisfaction in a career may be a reason for problems with your mental health. To avoid them, you need to know when to start thinking about changing a career. And don’t get concerned over such changes. Stay confident and keep in mind that CV writing service reviews can help you choose the professional and reliable company to assist you with writing the application document to find the new job.

So, let’s observe which signs you should pay attention to.

Physical Signs

Is there an anxiety? Are you aging? Maybe there were some work-related injuries?

Maybe you feel good when you receive a paycheck. But the work environment doesn’t bring out the best of you? Talk to your boss. There should be some alternative options. Remember that high-stress environment cannot help you work well.

You also shouldn’t feel that your co-workers just take advantage of you. Fear of losing your job is abnormal too.

Mental Signs

Today a lot of people have mental health issues, most of which are related to stress. To avoid problems with your health, be attentive to these signs:

  • High anxiety;
  • Difficulties with concentration and sleeping;
  • The tension in the neck;
  • You feel depressed.

If these tips can characterize you, maybe it is time to think about changing something.

Why Can a Career Change be Good for You?

A career change may become a reason for reviving the excitement for your work. It may fulfill your lifelong dream. So, it is time for a career change, if:

  • You work in a negative workplace. Just change a workplace and don’t be discouraged.
  • Your boss is a difficult person. Maybe it is time to talk to your boss? In most cases, communication is the greatest decision.
  • You feel lost about what you always do. Don’t fear the idea of working on a completely new project. This may make you feel that life is passing by you. Fear of the unknown shouldn’t prevent you from your career growth.

Common Mistakes

When you make a career change, try to avoid things that can negatively influence the result:

  • A desire to get a higher salary. This is not the tip that shows that you are in a wrong career. Remember that a position with a higher salary may be completely not what you expect.
  • Overnight decisions. Don’t make such quick decisions in this situation. When you are stressed or just disappointed you can’t think clearly. The biggest problem, in this case, is that positive tips are overlooked.
  • Promotion. In most cases, promotion takes a lot of time. That is why don’t think that there are no results. It may take years. So, this is not the reason to change your current place of work.
  • You are bored. Remember that repeated job is always boring. In this case, you may change your desk or communicate with co-workers. This may be enough to forget that you are bored with the job.

But before you will make a final decision think about these questions:

  • Can you imagine working in a new department?
  • Can you work well with people? What is a real problem at work?
  • How much time have you devoted to your career to get any result?

Making a Change for a Successful Career

If you are ready for changes, follow these tips:

  1. Write a career plan. Think carefully about the courses you need to take and other things to do to complete the goal.hat
  2. Weight your options. You may use your diplomas and gained degrees in different roles. But think which role will be able to make your happy.
  3. Think about your pros and cons. Be honest. Your weaknesses and strengths may have a real impact on your job.
  4. Find a mentor. This person can tell you a lot about the position you want to get. Ask this person what career tools you need to have.
  5. Volunteer first. Take on volunteer opportunities. This will help you to understand whether you really want to get the position.

Remember that you need to spend some time to move towards a new career. To reach this goal you need to avoid common mistakes. Also, remember about signs that will show that it is the right time for changes. Think about the steps of changing carefully to get the wanted result.

7 Top Tips For Progressing Your Career

Are you an ambitious person who is determined to achieve higher and progress your career quickly? If so, you may be unsatisfied by the pace at which you’re progressing in your current position, in which case you’ll need these tips to help you recognize your ultimate goals and assess your plan of action.

Obviously, your performance level at work is spotless, and your attitude sets you apart from the rest, but just to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of your job, follow these 7 easy steps.

1. Take on new challenges and responsibilities

To ensure your career progression is constantly moving forward, you should endeavor to take on as much responsibility as possible. Not only will it indicate to your employer that you’re serious about your position in the company – in which case they may be more inclined to offer you a promotion or a higher salary – but being challenged will make you work harder, fine tune your skills and open doors to new opportunities.

Request to take over with client liaison or to manage new projects and teams. Or, for something more challenging, why not call and meeting with your boss and colleagues to share new ideas and future plans that will benefit the company. For this, you should use an app like MeetApp event – the best event app in 2018 – to help you organize and schedule meetings and conferences with other employees, as well as encouraging interaction and the discussion of business ideas.

2. Reshape your current position

If you’re getting restless with your current job tasks and lack of variety, take matters into your own hands. Talk to your boss about switching up your role to maintain motivation and learn new skills.

If your role entails the implementation of one tiny percentage of a wider project? Demand to take on more, and prove to your employer that you have the right skills and qualifications for a higher role.

3. Request training

Every employer should offer training, and if you feel like you haven’t been adequately trained it can make you feel resentful towards your company. Training will not only benefit you and future-proof your career, but it means your employer can get more out of you, too, so it’s really in everybody’s interest to train you on new skills, software and programs.

4. Take on freelance work outside your 9-5

If you’re not getting enough out of your job, whether it be skills and progression or money, consider taking up a side hustle, such as on-the-side freelance work. It will require great amounts of motivation and organization, but the benefits mean you can do more, be better, and experience other options. Cast your net wider!

5. Network

Networking is crucial for career progression; the people you network with can introduce you to a whole world of new possibilities. Remember: even the most unexpected scenarios are great networking opportunities – you may meet somebody in a coffee shop who may be searching for someone to help him build their start-up business, and you could be the best person for the job.

6. Negotiate

If you aren’t happy in your current position, don’t settle. It doesn’t help anyone, especially yourself, if you don’t ask for what you want: more responsibility, variety or money. Plus, your employer is most likely to respect you more for being assertive, and you’ll come across more valuable and a greater asset.

7. Trust your instinct

Lastly, trust your instinct. Aren’t sure your talents and work ethic are valued in your current job? Move on. Feeling underappreciated and under-paid? Talk to your boss or move on.

A job that has a clear path to progression with set goals and motivational mentors is what you should aim for, so if your job is dead-ended, hatch an exit plan and get out of there! Always strive for more, good luck!