Career development is an important part of being a professional, especially in today’s fast-paced world. It helps you stay relevant and competitive in your field, and it can increase your job satisfaction. While many people are content to land a job in their field and let time and chance dictate their careers, there are definite advantages to taking a proactive approach to your career and charting out your future path.
Developing your career can help you find more happiness in your work and take more pride in your accomplishments. It also enables you to build skills and knowledge that you can use in other roles, which will make it easier for you to change jobs or industries in the future. Here are five career development tips to get you started:
Self-assessment is a critical first step in your career development plan. Take a personality or aptitude assessment, such as BetterUp’s Whole Person Assessment, to learn more about what type of career you might enjoy. You can then use this information to create a vision of your ideal career. It’s important to have a realistic view of your career and current skill set, so that you can set goals that are appropriate and achievable.
Once you have a clear vision of your ideal career, it’s time to begin creating a professional growth plan. This may include setting a specific number of job skills you want to develop, tasks or projects you would like to complete, or even just roles you would like to apply for. These goals should be specific, measurable, and attainable so that you can determine how close you are to your goal.
Another aspect of career development is to expand your professional network. This is a great way to meet new people in your industry and can lead to opportunities you might not have thought of. You can also use your network to find out about new training opportunities or career advancements within your company or in other organizations.
If you are a student, connect with your school’s career development office or advisors to see what resources are available to you. They can direct you to internship programs and other valuable professional development opportunities. If you are already working, you can use your internal mentorship program or seek out outside mentoring sources, such as a peer networking group.
Flexibility is an important aspect of career development, as things will inevitably change over time within your organization and in your industry. If you have rigidity, you will struggle to adapt. Having flexibility will allow you to be open to opportunities that come up and will give you the ability to adjust your plans as needed.
In addition to helping employees feel more confident and happy in their jobs, career development can also improve employee retention and boost productivity. Businesses that neglect to provide opportunities for professional growth will be missing out on these benefits. By offering your employees access to training, career mentoring, and other professional development resources, you will show that you care about their long-term success in the company and are invested in their professional growth.