Hack Your Professional Career In 30 Minutes or Less


Is it me or does life get freakishly busy? It can be inevitable at times to feel like you're missing out on key moments of productivity when run down by the slug of things.

If you have 30 minutes, there are a number of things you can do to improve your credibility and professionalism. Here are ten ways to advance your career and become more hirable if you only have 30 minutes to spare.

Sign up for career development newsletters and personal development newsletters

I honestly attribute signing up for career development email newsletters to changing my life. Because of how quickly things change, it’s important to have a constant feedback loop of what’s going on in your industry and the workforce in general. 

The best advice you can get is advice relevant to you in your current and future state, so take the time to find the websites, newsletters, and books that make the best sense for you, your career, and your goals.

Signing up for newsletters is a great way to not only stay up to date but to become more aware of new opportunities. 

Career newsletters will help you with professional development, career advice, and discovering job opportunities. It’ll come straight to your inbox saving your time and energy. You’ll thank yourself instantly for this one.

Here are a few of my favorite professional development newsletters to get you started:

  • Glassdoor Salary Tracker

  • Google Job Search Alerts

  • Becoming Minimalist is a minimalist blog with a weekly newsletter that has great insights and roundups worth tuning into.

  • Google Alerts for your name and industry

  • Jopwell is a career development and job board geared towards Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American students and professionals. I’ve even written for their career development blog! 

  • The Muse is another career and personal development website with a newsletter that you should subscribe to ASAP, especially if you’re looking to work for startups.

  • SCOTUSDaily is a nice way to stay in the know on what’s going on in the political space.

  • Sign up for job alerts and emails for when clients across the globe. Replying to inquiries and job postings as soon as they’re posted is a great way to stand out and get the attention of your prospective client and employer.

  • Crunchbase


Set up email filters to save time and stay organized

It’s super important to become organized on and offline if you want to be a successful employer, employee or business owner. For organizing your inbox, I find email filters to be insanely underrated. Because of the nature of how we communicate, work, and receive information, our email inboxes are insanely difficult to manage.

Email filters can be a game changer when it comes to tackling your inbox.  Do you receive newsletters that are more urgent than others? Do you subscribe to certain emails for work? Create a Gmail filter to organize your mail by sender, headline, or content so you can find what you need when you need it the most.

I filter my email into categories such as: news, job alerts, coupons, marketing, writing, networking, personal development, etc.


At the same time, make sure you unsubscribe to irrelevant newsletters you signed up for over the years

But at the same time remember to unsubscribe when content starts becoming irrelevant to you.  You can use sites like Unroll.me to jumpstart the process of decluttering your email now.


Download Linkedin on your mobile phone or tablet

Download the Linkedin app on your mobile device and challenge yourself to nurture your connections. Before you get too active on Linkedin, make sure you have an active and filled out Linkedin profile. Having an active and complete profile is important for a few reasons.

LinkedIn can help boost your credibility in any field, and it’s also a great resource for finding jobs. I doubled my salary in six months by being recruited for a better job through LinkedIn. 

You can check out my Linkedin here if you’d like to see a sample profile. Heck, feel free to connect with me on there (but don’t do so if you’re not going to send a personalized request so that I know who you are). 

Interact with your network for about five minutes a day. Trust me, it won't be the worst use of your time.


Silence your cell phone

When I turned 21, I felt completely overwhelmed by the amounts of notifications and text messages I was receiving, that I turned my iPhone on silent. 

This improved my productivity and allowed me to live a more in the moment and meaningful life. Not to mention, it helped remove the stress of feeling the pressure to reply to people instantly. Now, my texts can wait.

“But I have my phone on vibrate already!” No, not vibrate, I mean completely silence your phone. Another thing I also did was put my phone on do not disturb. 

Only when I reach for my phone do I see notifications or messages.

If you have a job that requires you to look at your phone, you can set an alarm for times when you’ll walk away from your computer and engage on your phone.


Update your resume

Keep an updated resume at all times.

One of the best things you can do for your professional career is to keep an updated resume and portfolio on hand.

Do I mean you should carry around five printed resumes at all times? No, but your resume and Linkedin profile should be current at all times and accessible through a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive.

You need to have an up to date resume, Linkedin, portfolio, and website in today’s fast-paced job market. It does not take a lot of time and effort, so no excuses.

Recently taken on a new role or responsibilities? Learned a new skill? Take five minutes to update your resume. Always have an updated resume accessible within a minutes notice. 

The reason why I stress this is you never know when someone’s going to want to work or potentially refer someone with your skill set. Also, it’s just handy! Even if you’re not looking for a new job, it’s smart to have an up to date resume on hand for recruiters and when it comes time to talk with your boss for your annual review, it’s an easy way to track projects, it’s good to have to review when it comes to negotiating your salary, or in the event someone wants our freelance or consulting services.

It’s also super convenient to have in the event you start job hunting again.


Start using your calendar

Between tablets, iPads, and computers, you now have the ability to instantly integrate any calendar across all devices. Remember to keep any and all important meetings on your calendar, because let’s be honest, who has time to remember all of the details without a friendly reminder. 

Remembering obligations can be stressful, I choose to rely on my calendar. I add my work schedule, industry events, dates, plans, and even Twitter chats on my calendar. If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening!


Sign up for an online course to improve a relevant skill in your industry

This is something I’m extremely passionate about and think everyone should strive to do on a quarterly bases at a minimum. But if I were you, I’d learn something new every week. 

There are a number of sites dedicated to keeping your skills up to date. Find a few relevant to you and dedicate the time to improve and diversify your skill set.

One of the biggest strengths in the workplace by far is the ability to adapt with change in your industry, including the software and technology that you use. 

By continuing to understand the technology I used more than the people around me, I was able to become more efficient, which opened even more time for me to research my industry.

In the workplace, I hear a lot of bitching around technology and how quickly it changes. The reality is you can opt to address and adapt with technology or bitch and fall behind. 

If you’re not willing to teach yourself in order to stay current, being indispensable is not important to you. It’s your choice. Technology doesn’t slowdown to personal preferences.

Linkedin recently acquired Lynda where you can learn and develop a wide range of skills. You can also buy courses from influencers and industry experts directly.


Create a landing page or blog to establish an online presence

This isn’t just something to add to your new nifty new business cards, but a website is also a great place to stand out during an interview and showcase your talents to the world. 

And to be honest, it’s the post dot com boom, which means that everyone needs a website.

It’s becoming increasingly important to establish yourself as an expert in your industry in order to add credibility to your resume. You can also showcase your portfolio on your site. Creating a website is the most simple way to get your ideas out in front of people in the easiest and quickest way.

The easiest way to start a website is by using:

• Wordpress

• Squarespace

• Wix


You can build your email list using:

• Mailchimp

• Leadpages

• Convert Kit

• Constant Contact


You can create your own graphics with:

• Photoshop

• Illustrator

• InDesign

• Canva


Purchase a domain in your name

These days, it’s super simple if you want to purchase a domain for your website. Sometimes your hosting site will even give you a discount on one. 

Sites like GoDaddy streamline the process of purchasing one. They’re typically around $20 a year for non competitive domain names, and don’t forget to add the privacy registration for your domain to keep your information confidential. 

Domains give you more credibility and are a professional standard these days. It’s the little details that matter.


Build a social media presence

I’m not suggesting that you must develop a massive audience to get a respectable job. But understanding how users engage with popular media outlets and social media channels can help you better understand your job and industry especially for entrepreneurs, freelancers, marketers, and aspiring TV personalities and talent.

CareerDestiny Lalane