Career development is an on-going process; it doesn’t stop even after you get a job! Along the way, you may find that you need to make adjustments to your career path so that it meets your needs at different stages of your life. In this article, career doesn’t specifically refer to having a job, but it considers the whole picture; it refers to managing your career aspirations effectively so you avoid getting lost during the process.
Let’s find out how you can avoid destroying your career and instead taking it to the next level:
#1 Set clear career goals
It is much easier to lose track of your career management and professional development when you don’t have clear career goals for the future. An effective way of doing this is through these 3 steps:
1. Self-Assessment: This will help you evaluate your skills and identify what your key strengths and weaknesses are. If you are working at the moment, check your workplace performance reviews/reports that show evidence of your success or areas of improvement in the workplace. By doing this, you are ready to plan what your next step is going to be and develop your personalised development plan.
2. Development plan: In order to build your own development plan you need to find ways which can help you develop your skills and key competencies. Sign up for accelerated lessons to learn how to use computers, learn a new language or attend seminars that can help you increase your knowledge in your field of interest. Ask yourself: “Where do I see myself in 3 or 5 years’ time?” and plan how you can get there.
3. Plan B: Make sure you always have a Plan B so if you lose your job for any reason, or things simply don’t go your way, then you know what you need to do in order to develop and rise within the industry again.
#2 Be flexible and organised
While everything constantly changes, the key to success is determined by your ability to change. In order to boost your career momentum, you have to learn how to be flexible as this allows you to adjust to changes easily. Most jobs today are offering flexible working hours, which means that you have to be flexible enough to produce work with the same amount of responsibility and quality as before.
Keeping your personal life organised will also help you keep your career plans under control. Fortunately, there are several ways that can help you organise your workload better. Learn how to develop your time management skills so that you use every minute of the day effectively.
#3 Keep up with industry news
Keeping up with the latest news within your industry will make you aware of the existing opportunities to develop yourself. New jobs might come up where your knowledge and experience is needed and might be your chance to grow professionally while at the same time obtaining a bigger salary. One way of keeping yourself informed about changes within your field of interest is by “following” other industry-related organisations on social media as well as watching the news.
#4 Start networking and keep your options open
Today’s competitive marketplace requires building relationships, connecting with people within the industry and constantly looking for new opportunities. So, if you want to advance your career this is exactly what you need to do. Sign up with different online networking platforms and start making yourself known by connecting with other professionals within the industry.
Proactive personal career management is essential in today’s economy. Start by creating your own career development plan and building on your skills, keeping yourself up-to-date regarding recent developments within your industry and networking with other people. This way you aren’t risking destroying your career.