GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - In today's workforce, long-term, full-time employment at your highest skill level is no longer a guarantee. Now more than ever, it's critical to think of your career as a lifelong process.

Tamryn Hennessy, Vice President Career services Rasmussen College, joined KARE 11 News @ 4 to talk about how to prepare for your next step.

The following are Rasmussen provided steps to elevate your career and avoid underemployment:

1. Education: Look for degree programs or certificates that advance your career and take you from the back of the line to the front of the line. Take an online course to update your skills.

2. Research: Research industries that are hiring and match with positions that have strong growth and potential pay. For example, the food service industry is growing, so take your IT job to big franchise corporate offices that provide food services. Or use free resources like Career One Stop.

3. Network: Use resources like LinkedIn and University Pages at LinkedIn to help you network with alumni, faculty and others who work in your profession. Attend career fairs to make new connections and research potential employers. You have to get your name out there.

4. Workplace: Become a subject matter expert in another area that allows the fullest use of your skills and volunteer for projects that showcase your expertise to co-workers. You may be remembered for an internal promotion later.

5. Career Strategy: Get a mentor or coach to work with you to help keep you focused and accountable to your search. It's a job to get a job! Constantly update your resume and have it reviewed by a career counselor.

Rasmussen College's Community Career Fair is free and open to the public. One is held on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the Brooklyn Park Campus. The other is Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at the Woodbury/Lake Elmo campus. Both are from 5:00-7:30 pm.

At the event, job seekers can attend interview workshops and professional dress consultation, mock interviews, resume reviews, LinkedIn profile preparation, and training/employer meetings.